An Alabama girl took her own life because she was bullied at school, her mother claims.
McKenzie Adams, 9, told her mother she was being bullied at school because Adams, who was black, had a white friend and got a ride to school from her friend’s parents each day, CBS News reported.
When the bullying became too intense at one school, Jasmine Adams, McKenzie’s mother, transferred her to a new school. Adams and the girl’s grandmother both told State Board of Education that McKenzie needed to switch schools because she was being bullied, Tuscaloosa News reported.
Switching schools also did not help. The bullying began again almost immediately.
“She told me that this one particular child was writing her nasty notes in class,” Jasmine Adams told CBS. “Part of it could have been because she rode to school with a white family. And a lot of it was race [related]. Some of the student bullies would say to her, ‘Why you riding with white people? You’re black, you’re ugly. You should just die.'”
“It was just things you wouldn’t think a 9-year-old should know. And my baby, to tell me some of the things they had said to her, I was like, ‘Where are they learning this from?'” Adams added.
According to Jasmine, McKenzie told the staff at her new school, U.S. Jones Elementary School in Demopolis that she was being bullied. She transferred to the school after her mother and grandmother complained to the State Board of Education that she was being bullied.
“Our trust was in them that they would do the right thing,” she said. “And it just feels like to me it wasn’t.”
On Dec. 3, McKenzie’s grandmother found the fourth grader dead in her room. She had hung herself to escape the abuse.
Funeral arrangements for my neice McKenzie Adams, will be Saturday December 15 @ 11am @US Jones Elementary School gym &…
A Grim Discovery
Adams aunt, Eddwina Harris, told People magazine that McKenzie came home from school as usual that day. At one point McKenzie went to the bathroom—and did not return for an unusually long time.
McKenzie’s grandmother, who lived in the home, went to check if her granddaughter was okay.
“She went to the bathroom and the door was locked. [Her grandmother] said, ‘Unlock the door. What are you doing?’” Harris related.
“She ran and got a butter knife and she unlocked the door. She found McKenzie injured.”
The grandmother called 911, and EMTs tried to save the child, but McKenzie was pronounced dead at Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital shortly after arriving.
School District Denies Bullying
Demopolis City Schools attorney Alex Braswell said the case was still being investigated.
“We are working fully with the Demopolis and Linden police department,” he told CBS. “They are doing a joint investigation of these allegations. We are cooperating fully and I can’t comment on any of the aspects of the investigation until they conclude it.”
In statement the school district denied any allegations that there had been bullying or that the school staff had been informed.
The school statement read, “We have concluded our internal investigation to the allegations of bullying which led to this senseless death.
“There have been no findings of any reports of bullying by either the student or family. The findings of this internal investigation are consistent with the results of the investigation of the Linden (Alabama) Police Department at this point in time. The Linden Police Department investigation is still pending. All further results will be disseminated as they become available.
“The Demopolis City School System will continue to have grief counselors, crisis counselors and mental health professionals available to all of our students and teachers.”
Second Bully-Related Suicide Reported
McKenzie Adams is the second Alabama fourth-grader to take her own life in the past two months.
In Nov. Madison Whittsett, 9, of Birmingham took her own life.
Whittsett, who was taking medication for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), was bullied at school because she could not keep up in class.
Whittsett had recently switched ADHD medication and the new prescription had suicidal thoughts listed as a potential side-effect, the Sun reported.
Like McKenzie Adams, Maddie Whittsett hung herself. Her mother, Eugenia Williams, noticed her daughter was unusually quiet and entered the girl’s room after school on Friday, Nov. 9. When Williams checked the closet, she found her daughter hanging and unresponsive.
Maddie was kept alive on life support at Children’s Hospital of Alabama until Nov. 12, when she was pronounced dead.
From NTD Television.