West Alabama mother blames bullying in her daughters suicide

Local News

DEMOPOLIS, Ala. (WIAT) — A West Alabama family is grieving the death of their daughter who took her life.  The mother of 9-year-old McKenzie Adams says bullying led her daughter to kill herself.

Jasmine Adams daughter was a fourth grade student at U.S. Jones elementary school in Demopolis.
According to Adams McKenzie told her teachers and her assistant principal she was being bullied
a number of times. 

“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 said.

On December 3, the 9-year-old’s grandmother found the child at their home in Linden 
after she hung herself.   Alex Brasswell says the case is under investigation.  Brasswell is the City Schools attorney.

“We are working fully with the Demopolis and Linden police department.  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” Brasswell said.

Jasmine Adams feels the school system let her daughter and her family down.

“I just felt that our trust was in them that they would do the right thing,” Adams said, “And it feels like to me it wasn’t it wasn’t done”. 

According to Adams race played a factor in the bullying. A white family friend drove 9-year-old McKenzie Adams to school everyday.  

“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 your black, your ugly.  You should just die”.

Alex Brasswell says the entire situation is sad and senseless.

“Certainly our hearts goes out to the family and friends of Mckenzie and her fellow students as well as
her teachers.  Demopolis school system has provided grief councilors and crisis councilors at the school since this and ministers and youth ministers have been at the campus since the date of this incident. And we certainly want to extend those services to any students and teachers on our campus
as they go through this healing process”.

Funeral services for McKenzie Adams will be held next Saturday at U.S. Jones elementary school in Demopolis at 11 a.m. 

In a statement released by the Demopolis City Schools attorney, Alex Baswell, they stated there have been no findings of any reports of bullying by either the student or the family. 

Full statement: 

“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”. 

This is the second suicide involving a 9-year-old child in Alabama in as many months. Madison Whitsett died by suicide in Birmingham this past November. 

The Birmingham Crisis Line offers 24-hour support for anyone who needs to talk to someone. The number is 205-323-7777. 

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