McKenzie Adams, a 4th grader at U.S. Jones Elementary School in Alabama, died last week after she hung herself in their home. Her family blames racist bullying that apparently occurred at her school, and they believe it led her to take her own life. However, the school claims they found no evidence of bullying.
Jasmine Adams, McKenzie’s mother, was grieving for the death of her daughter. She said that McKenzie was being bullied at school and she told her teachers and her assistant principal about it.
“She told me that this one particular child was writing her nasty notes in class,” Jasmine told CBS 42. “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?’”
On December 3, McKenzie’s grandmother found her inside the bathroom in their house in Linden where she hung herself. She was rushed to the hospital where she later died.
Jasmine said she felt the school did not do anything to prevent it from happening. She said, “I just felt that our trust was in them that they would do the right thing. And it feels like to me it wasn’t done.”
She believed that her daughter being Black played a factor in the bullying. She claimed, “Part of it could have been because she rode to school with a white family. And a lot of it was race. 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.’”
Demopolis City Schools conducted an investigation and denied that McKenzie was bullied. In a statement, Demopolis City School System attorney Alex Braswell said that “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.”
“Certainly our hearts go out to the family and friends of Mckenzie and her fellow students as well as her teachers,” the statement added.
The family has set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for The McKenzie Foundation to support other children who are being bullied. So far, it has raised over $11,000 out of its $20,000 goal.