December 11, 2018 4:38 am
A nine-year-old black girl killed herself after prolonged racist bullying by her classmates.
McKenzie Adams took her own life after being mocked and taunted because she had a white friend.
Family members say McKenzie had transferred to U.S. Jones Elementary School in Demopolis, Alabama, because she had been bullied at her school in Linden, Alabama, reports the Tuscaloosa News.
Eddwina Harris, McKenzie’s aunt, said: “She 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,’ ‘black b***h,’ ‘just die’."
The nine-year-old girl, born August 14 2009, hanged herself last Monday. Her grandmother found her in their home.
Instead of planning where to hide Christmas presents for the girl who loved playing with dolls and riding her bike, her family is now planning a funeral.
Ms Harris said: “It’s an emotional roller-coaster.
Harris, who is a television host in Atlanta, said she wants to use her platform to spread an anti-bullying message to prevent other families from experiencing the same tragedy.
McKenzie attended U.S. Jones Elementary School in Demopolis, where her funeral will be held at 11am on December 15. She transferred to the school after her mother and grandmother complained to the State Board of Education that she was being bullied at her elementary school in Linden, Harris said.
McKenzie's mother, Jasmine Adams, told CBS 42 that much of the bullying came from her friendship with a white boy and how his family would drive her to school.
"She told me that this one particular child was writing her nasty notes in class,' McKenzie's mother said. 'It was just things you wouldn't think a nine-year-old should know.'
"Part of it could have been because she rode to school with a white family,' she continued. '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'."
Schools attorney Alex Braswell said in a statement: "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."
Ms Harris described her niece as a girl who loved the beach, the zoo and wanted to be a scientist some day.
She said she intends to speak out against bullying and hopes her efforts can save the lives of other children who feel hopeless.
“God has blessed me to help others with my platform, and now it’s time to help. There are so many voiceless kids,” she said.
“God is opening great doors for justice for my niece.”
Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at firstname.lastname@example.org