Family of McKenzie Adams filing lawsuit against Demopolis City Schools

Published: Jan. 17, 2020 at 10:42 PM CST
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DEMOPOLIS, Ala. (WBRC) - "Full of life, beautiful child. She wanted to be a scientist,” says attorney Diandra Debrosse Zimmerman.

But that life came to an end December 2018. That’s when nine-year-old McKenzie Adams reportedly took her own life in her grandmother’s basement.

“Very loved. And I want to make that clear, by her mother, by her grandmother and her aunties," says Zimmerman.

Her family says constant bullying, after being targeted for her race and gender, is to blame. The family claims despite concerns brought to the school system and her teachers, officials continued to ignore the situation.

“I think part of the issue is the school didn’t react. The school didn’t investigate. The school didn’t follow procedures to investigate what they knew was an issue.”

A lawsuit, filed against the Demopolis school system, says McKenzie suffered greatly at the hands of her classmates.

“Called the “n” word, called the “b” word, that she was bullied. She was consistently verbally harassed by a child. I must remind everyone that this was a nine-year-old child.”

Attorney Diandra Debrosse Zimmerman says McKenzie’s family reached out to the school about the persistent bullying that lasted months, but that nothing was done. The following is statement released by the Demopolis City Schools’ attorney:

“While we are not permitted to discuss pending litigation, the Demopolis Board of Education can say that we look forward to defending this case and dispelling the allegations made therein.”

“We are hopeful we will have our day in court, and that’s what this is about. And they can advance their position that bullying didn’t occur but our position is it absolutely did and that’s why McKenzie is not with us today," says Zimmerman.

Zimmerman and her firm have 180 days to formally serve the complaint to the defendants, then the school system will have 30 days to file a response of some kind. Stay tuned to WBRC for updates as this case moves forward.

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