An elementary student in Alabama took her own life after allegedly being bullied by children at two different schools, according to the child’s mother.
McKenzie Adams was only 9 years old when she came home with notes filled with racially driven comments she told her mother had been written by schoolmates.
“Part of it could have been because she rode to school with a white family,” McKenzie’s mother, Jasmine Adams, who is black, told WIAT-TV. “And a lot if it is race. Some of the student bullies would say to her, ‘Why you riding with white people? You’re black and ugly. You should just die.’”
Adams had already transferred her daughter to a second school because of bullying, and that when issues arose at the second school, McKenzie spoke up. Adams said her daughter told teachers and her assistant principal at U.S. Hones Elementary School in Demopolis, but the bullying continued.
“Our trust was in them that they would do the right thing,” Adams said. “And it just feels like to me, it wasn’t.”
McKenzie killed herself in her home on Dec. 3, her mother said. Her grandmother discovered her body.
“Instead of shopping for Christmas, we’re picking out caskets for my nine year old,” her grandmother, Janice Adams, told ABC News.
The school district said the case is under investigation.
“We are working fully with the Demopolis and Linden police department,” Adam Brasswell, the city schools attorney, told WIAT-TV. “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.”
The Demopolis school system provided grief counselors and crisis counselors at the school. Ministers and youth ministers were also on hand to speak with students.
Investigators have spoken with at least nine teachers and school administrators as part of their probe, Linden Police Chief Robert Alston told ABC News. School officials apparently said there was no official report of bullying made to them, Alston said.