Victim’s mother thanks former teacher


PHENIX CITY Ala.- A mother whose son was killed in a car accident wants to thank his elementary school teacher druing teacher appreciation week.

Ayden Kitchens was killed in a car accident last December.

His mother said she wanted to shine light on how his former teacher truly changed his life.

Cassandra Kitchens is a mother of 4 and Ayden, who was her second child, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and ADHD.

Kitchens said it was a constant challenge for teachers to work with him until he attended Ladonia Elementary School.

“At the old school they were constantly asking me to come get him because a lot of teachers do not know how to handle kids with ADHD and bipolar and it was a challenge,” said Kitchens.

Abby Cook, Ayden’s 1st grade teacher, said she knew what Ayden was going through, because she had recently adopted a son who had some of the same issues.

“When I met his family and I heard his story, it just really clicked with me that a lot of times those kids are seen as bad kids and it’s not always the case. It’s not always a lack of discipline, it’s not always a lack of respect. Sometimes kids genuinely deal with the inability to control their behavior,” said Cook.

Mrs. Kitchens wants Mrs. Cook to know how grateful she is for all that love and support that she showed her son.

“I know that she had to be doing something to help him because he loved her. Whatever she was doing, I would say Keep on because we need teachers like that out there,” said Kitchens.

Police say 56-year-old Kathryn Adams was the driver of the stolen vehicle that collided with the car Ayden was riding in, killing him.

 Adams faces more than 15 charges including: murder, first degree homicide by a vehicle, theft by taking a motor vehicle, dui, and leaving the scene of the accident. She still remains in jail without bond.

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