After reportedly getting into a fight with another student over a boy, a 16-year-old girl was assaulted by bullies and ultimately died of her injuries.
On April 21, Amy Inita Joyner-Francis, 16, entered a bathroom at Howard High School of Technology in Wilmington, Delaware. Within half an hour, she was flown to A.I. duPont Hospital for Children and ultimately died.
“She was fighting a girl and then that’s when all these other girls started banking her — like jumping on her,” student Kayla Wilson told KTLA, according to The Daily Mail.
Amy’s friends said the fight was reportedly over a boy. During the altercation, someone allegedly smashed her head against a bathroom sink.
No one can recall the last time a student was killed inside a Delaware state school, and neither the Delaware Departments of Education and Homeland Security nor the State Police or Attorney General’s Office, has that statistic, The News Observer reports.
“We know it is happening in the streets,” Rev. Sandra Ben of Praying Ground Community Church said. “But now we are talking about violence happening in a place that normally should be a safe haven.”
“That little girl got beat up inside of a bathroom,” activist Malcom Coley said, according to WPVI. “How many of y’all stopped it? Did anybody stop it?”
Police have not revealed details about the scene of the crime or the cause of Amy’s death. Detectives have interviewed various students and are reportedly looking for additional evidence, such as cellphone videos or social media comments.
“My heart is broken,” Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams said at a press conference. “I am so upset that a young lady lost her life today. Things like this shouldn’t happen.”
School administrators canceled classes for the rest of the day on April 21. At the time, few were reportedly aware of the severity of the incident, and many parents did not know exactly what had occurred.
A vigil was held on the night of April 21, and the school plans to let out classes early on April 22.
On social media, the hashtag #RIPAmy is trending as many speak out against her senseless death, The Daily Mail notes.
“I am so sad & hurt by the young girl who lose her life at school today getting jumped,” actress Paige Hurd wrote on Twitter. “My heart is so heavy for her & her family #RipAmy.”
Many have noted that the school has an anti-bullying campaign.
“The anti-bullying thing that schools put on, they don’t really listen to ’em,” student Julia Scott told WPVI. “It honestly has to take something tragic like this to happen for them to actually open up their eyes.”
No charges have been announced as of yet, but Wilmington Police reportedly interviewed two girls and several witnesses on April 21.
Sources: The News Observer, WPVI, The Daily Mail / Photo Credit: The Daily Mail, WPVI