LINDEN, Ala. — An Alabama family is mourning the loss of a 9-year-old girl who took her own life Monday night.
McKenzie Adams’ family members said the fourth-grader had been bullied by a group of classmates since the beginning of the school year. Her grandmother found her in their home in Linden on Monday. She had hanged herself.
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.
“It’s an emotional roller-coaster,” said Edwinna Harris, McKenzie’s aunt. 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 approximately 15 miles away in Demopolis, where her funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Dec. 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.
Linden is a city of 2,100 residents in west central Alabama, roughly 100 miles west of Montgomery.
A lot of the bullying centered on her friendship with a boy, Harris 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-tch,’ ‘just die’,” she said.