The Short of It
A 16-year-old girl was killed during a brawl in a Delaware high school bathroom Thursday.
The community around Howard High School is in a state of shock after Amy Inita Joyner-Francis died during a fight in a girls' restroom. Her exact cause of death is unknown at this time, although Principal Stanley Spoor said he didn't believe weapons were involved.
Student Kayla Wilson, who was in a stall when the fight took place, told Fox News, "She was fighting a girl, and then that's when all these other girls started banking her—like jumping her—and she hit her head on the sink."
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Amy was airlifted to a nearby hospital due to the injuries she sustained, but she later died. Her father Sonny Francis told Fox 29 Philadelphia, "I think this is a dream, and I'm trying to wake up. All I know is my daughter is gone. She was the love of my life, and it hurts."
At a press conference, Wilmington Police Chief Bobby Cummings told reporters two other students were being questioned about their involvement in the fight. He says in general, Howard is not known as a violent school. But according to Delaware Online, students, parents and community leaders say fighting among students, even girls, is not uncommon.
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City Councilman Nnamdi Chukwuocha commented, "Some of the worst fights I've seen in the community have been with the females. We need to address the needs of the young women. As of right now, I don't think we're doing that."
Classes were to resume today, with counseling services being offered for students, hundreds of whom attended a vigil for Amy on Thursday night.
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Shytera Dawkins, who said she was Amy's close friend, told Delaware Online, "Amy is a good girl who gets good grades who stays out of trouble. For them to fight, it's just wow, a shocker for everybody."
Another student, Nik Stryminski, said Amy had actually prevented him from fighting another student during a math class; Amy had backed him into a corner to calm him down.
"She wasn't worried about herself. She was worried about me not fighting," he said. "She didn't believe in fighting, and the craziest thing is she died in a fight."
According to Superintendent Victoria Gehrt, this incident doesn't reflect the overall safety climate of the school, but that's tough to believe in the aftermath of this girl's death. Here's hoping the students at this school, and nationwide, learn a valuable lesson about how quickly a fight can lead to irreversible consequences.