Students at the Howard High School of Technology in Wilmington, Delaware are mourning the loss of a classmate who died from injuries sustained from a bathroom fight.
Sixteen-year-old Amy Inita Joyner-Francis was attacked in a bathroom by six other students shortly after 10 a.m. Thursday, according to The News Journal. In the midst of the fight, she fell and hit her head on one of the bathroom sinks. The entire brawl was caught on video taken by bystanders. The 10th-grader was flown to a nearby hospital but later died.
Dennis Williams, Mayor of Wilmington, struggled to hold back tears as he addressed members of the media at a press conference concerning the New Castle girl’s death.
“My heart is broken,” he said. “I’m so upset that the young lady lost her life today. Things like this shouldn’t happen. My heart bleeds for the family, the kids that go to this school, administrators and our city.”
Per the The News Journal, investigators are questioning multiple students considered persons of interest in the assault.
Friends of Joyner-Francis remember her as an “energetic and bubbly” individual and someone who could put a smile on your face. Students also took to social media to express their shock over the senseless death of the teen, flooding Twitter with the hashtag #RIPAmy.
she is really all I think about, and imaging what her parents are going through is heart breaking. #RIPAmy ? I love you amy.
— princesa. (@gxldenxz) April 22, 2016
Cant wait to watch these girls be tried for murder and see them spend the rest of their lives in prison where they belong #ripamy
— dog mom (@KENNABBBY) April 21, 2016
Shytera Dawkins and Kayla Sutrell, close friends of Joyner-Francis, said they talked to her Wednesday night and she told them she was going to the bathroom on Thursday to “settle the beef,” The News Journal reports. They didn’t give many details about the altercation but confirm that it wasn’t over a boy, as many believe.
“This was like the first time that someone died over a fight,” Dawkins said. “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.”
According to the Department of Education, seven violent felonies occurred at Howard last year, along with 14 other incidents of fighting or disorderly conduct. Joyner-Francis’ death is just another senseless tragedy added to the sad trend of teen girls dying at the hands of one another. Earlier this month, a 17-year-old Brooklyn girl died after she was beaten into a coma by a group of teens, according to the New York Daily News.
“Some of the worst fights I’ve seen in the community have been with the females,” said City Councilman Nnamdi Chukwuocha. “We need to address the needs of the young women. As of right now, I don’t think we’re doing that.”
It also puts a spotlight on a generation of people who would rather stand by, or in the case of Joyner-Francis, record, instead of helping someone in distress. A recently released surveillance video shows a Chicago man being knocked unconscious in the middle of the street and robbed, minutes before being run over by a cab. During the entire ordeal, no one stopped to aid the man or move his body out of the street.
Classes were dismissed late Thursday at the vo-tech high school and will resume Friday with a shortened day to provide grief counseling to students, The News Journal reports.