Family of 9-Year-Old Says Racist Bullying Drove Her to Suicide

Illustration for article titled Family of 9-Year-Old Says Racist Bullying Drove Her to Suicide
Photo: Mckenzie Adams and her mother. (Photo provided by family.)

Authorities in Linden, Ala. are searching for answers after the suicide of McKenzie Nicole Adams. Her family members believe racism was to blame.

Adams, who loved dolls and hoped to become a scientist, was found dead at her home by her grandmother.

While the official cause of death has yet to be revealed, Eddwina Harris, Adams’ aunt, told the Tuscaloosa News that her niece experienced bullying at U.S. Jones Elementary in nearby Demopolis.


After befriending a white child at her school, Adams was told to end her life by other students.

“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 bitch,’ ‘just die’.”

Adams’ family says that McKenzie had been bullied during kindergarten at Linden Elementary before she was transferred. In a statement, Linden School District Superintendent Timothy Thurman refuted their claim.

“There is no record of any bullying during that time and there’s no note as to why she withdrew,” he said. “She transferred to U.S. Jones Elementary School in Demopolis and she’s been there ever since.”


Demopolis City School System attorney Alex Braswell told NBC News that the district is cooperating with local police departments.

On Monday, McKenzie’s mother took to Facebook to mourn the loss of her daughter.

“My world is gone ... my first love.”

Contributing Editor. When he's not pullin' up, he's usually jumpin' out. You can find him in the cut.

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I hate to be this person, but would you consider removing the method she used to complete her suicide?

As a person who has dealt with mental health issues all of her life, I want McKenzies story told. As someone who suffers from suicidal ideations, knowing the way she took her life was triggering to read.

Most mental health and suicide prevention resources discourage including the method for that reason and more:

1. Suicide contagion is a real thing, and describing the how can tip the scale for those who were already considering ending their lives.

2.It’s sensationlistic. The fact that this child is gone is horrifying enough. Learning how she did it is unnecessary.

I know that it wasn’t easy to report on McKenzie’s death. Thank you for telling her story. May she rest in Power.