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School Psych Corner: Black Minds Matter

Editor’s Note:  Thank you to our friends at School Psyched Your School Psychologist for sharing this article


McKenzie Adams and Maddie Whitsett should still be here with us today. But after being tormented at their respective schools last year, the two girls, both 9 years old, died by suicide. According to the girls’ families, McKenzie was the victim of racist bullying, and Maddie was taunted because she had ADHD.

These two children represent the human faces behind a disturbing study published in JAMA Pediatrics in 2018: Although the overall suicide rate for black youth is about 42 percent lower than for white youth, that number represents all young people under 17. While black teens between the ages of 13 and 17 are 50 percent less likely to die by suicide than white teens, the suicide rate for black children between the ages of 5 and 12 is about twice as high as that of their white peers.

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