Nine-year-old black girl commits suicide after being bullied for having a white friend
A nine-year-old girl who hails from Alabama has reportedly taken her own life after suffering racist abuse from her classmates. McKenzie Adams. The African-American fourth-grader had been targeted by bullies at US Jones Elementary School in the town of Demopolis, Alabama, due to her close friendship with a caucasian, male classmate. The bullying had been going on since the start of the school year. Her grandmother found that she'd hanged herself in their family home on Monday. Her funeral is planned for December 15.
McKenzie Nicole Adams was born in 2009, and has been described by friends and family as a pretty and smart girl with an outgoing personality. She had a great fondness for mathematics and science, and reportedly wanted to be a scientist when she grew up.
Commenting on her daugher's tragic death, Jasmine stated: "She told me that this one particular child was writing her nasty notes in class. 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 added: "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' ... I just felt that our trust was that [the school system] would do the right thing, and it feels like to me it wasn't it wasn't done."
Meanwhile, McKenzie's aunt Eddwina Harris told news reporters that: "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*tch,' 'just die' ... God has blessed me to help others with my platform, and now it's time to help. There are so many voiceless kids. God is opening great doors for justice for my niece."
Sadly, incidences of racist bullying are allegedly all too common in American classrooms. According to figures provided by the National Center for Education Statistics, and the Bureau of Justice Statistics, a shocking 90 per cent of students in grades 4-8 who were surveyed reported that they were harrased or bullied at some point during their education. Furthermore, a disturbing 160,000 children nationwide refuse to attend school each day for fear of bullies, and a further 10 per cent of kids drop out of school due to bullying.
According to StopBullying.gov, the best method of bullying prevention is for adults to set positive examples for children in life. The official website states that: "Kids learn from adults’ actions. By treating others with kindness and respect, adults show the kids in their lives that there is no place for bullying. Even if it seems like they are not paying attention, kids are watching how adults manage stress and conflict, as well as how they treat their friends, colleagues, and families."
If you or anyone else you know has been affected by the issues raised in this article, then please don't hesitate to contact the Samaritans on 116 123, or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255.