Funeral held for 9-year-old girl whose family says she killed herself because of bullying

Around the South

DEMOPOLIS, Ala. (WIAT) –  A 9-year-old girl whose family says she was bullied into suicide was laid to rest over the weekend in Demopolis.

Hundreds of people attended the service Saturday at U.S. Jones Elementary School, where fourth-grader McKenzie Adams went to school.

Adams committed suicide last week at her grandmother’s house in Linden — the girl hung herself.  Her aunt Eddwina Harris claims the 9-year-old was bullied at her school by classmates.

According to mother Jasmine Adams, race played a factor in the bullying. A white family friend drove McKenzie Adams to school every day.  

“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, you’re ugly.  You should just die’,” Jasmine Adams said.

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,” mother Jasmine Adams said.

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

Aunt Eddwina Harris says her family was touched to see so many people attend the funeral service. It was standing room only inside the school gymnasium.   

“McKenzie was a very loving child, obviously she has touched the hearts of hundreds of people. I don’t
think there was any standing room in the gym. She was a loving child and justice will be served,” Harris said.

The funeral service lasted one hour, a number of people made remarks and shared condolences for the family.  A group of alumni from Linden High School expressed their condolences for mother Jasmine Adams, who attended Linden High School while growing up.  

“So many people traveled from states away California, Baltimore, Florida and from all over the place.
The love is pouring from Australia, Israel, and Mexico and all over the world that Mckenzie story has touched” Harris said.

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. 

As a result of alleged bullying, Eddwina Harris and her family started a foundation to address the issue
of bullying and how to fight it to protect other students.

“This issue will be tackled to make sure laws will be changed and that there is zero tolerance for bullying zero tolerance in the state of Alabama and in fact the United States. We have to say who those bullies are, when you see them say it. If your scared tell me, I’m not. I am not afraid to call them out not in a hurtful way but they have to be known and parents have to know who they are,” Harris said. 

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