McKenzie Adams of Linden, AL dreamed of becoming a scientist, but her family won't see her grow up and fulfill that goal. McKenzie died by suicide earlier this month after being relentlessly bullied at school, her family said. She was 9.
"She told me that this one particular child was writing her nasty notes in class. 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 told WIAT.
According to Adams, McKenzie transferred to U.S. Jones after the family complained to to the Alabama State Board of Education that she was being bullied at her former school in Linden. The family says the harassment continued at U.S. Jones. McKenzie's aunt Eddwina Harris told the Tuscaloosa News the harassment seemed to be racially-motivated. She said: "[McKenzie] was being bullied the entire school year, with words such as ‘kill yourself,’ 'you think you’re white because you ride with that white boy,' 'you ugly,'" and other insults.
After Mckenzie's death, an investigation was launched by both Demopolis City Schools and the Linden authorities. An attorney for the Demopolis City Board of Education said in a statement Tuesday that the inquiry had not found reports of bullying. "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," attorney Alex Braswell said. "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."
McKenzie's funeral will be held Saturday.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness or thinking about suicide, please contact Crisis Services Canada at 1-833-456-4566. All calls will be answered in confidence.