Delaware Teen Beaten to Death in School Bathroom

By Faye Higbee

Delaware Teen Beaten to Death in School Bathroom

Wilmington, Delaware – a 16 year old female student was beaten to death in the bathroom Thursday morning at Howard High School of Technology. She was air-lifted to A.I. duPont Children’s hospital in critical condition, but died enroute. Two classmates are in police custody, and police are waiting the official cause of death before charging them. More arrests may be forthcoming.

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Press conference at Howard High School- Twitter photo

Police were called to Howard High School at around 08:18 yesterday morning for an altercation  in the bathroom just after classes began.

Amy Inita Joyner-Francis was attacked by at least two girls. News media said that the assault was over a boy, but her friends dispute that idea.

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Twitter photo of Amy Inita Joyner-Francis

“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.” Witness

One of her friends, Kayla Suttrell, remarked that she was going to the bathroom that morning to “settle the beef.” 

“…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.” Shytera Dawkins

Delaware Online reported, 

Police have not released the cause of death for the New Castle girl or any details about what happened inside the restroom. Detectives from the homicide and violent crimes unit interviewed several students considered persons of interest and two female students were taken to police headquarters for further questioning, Wilmington police Chief Bobby Cummings said.

Principal Stanley Spoor said they do not have any reason to believe weapons were used in the attack. School was dismissed late Thursday morning and will resume Friday with a shortened day to provide counseling services for students.

Youth in trouble

From the Mayor to the City Council, officials were shocked over the incident. The Police Chief said Howard High School wasn’t known as a violent school. A full time school resource officer is stationed there. Though social media claimed witnesses stood around filming the incident, police have not verified that story.

13Newsnow reported,

Last year, seven violent felonies were reported at the school, as well as 14 incidents of fighting/disorderly conduct, according to data from the state Department of Education. While only 10 violent felonies have been reported at Howard in the last five years, there have been 127 incidents of fighting/disorderly conduct, not to mention bullying, inappropriate or terroristic touching and sexual assault.

“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.” City Councilman Nnamdi Chukwuocha

What’s the answer?

According to Heavy.com, Amy received a message from someone who wanted to fight her last year on a social media website called Ask.fm. “Kyaire’s girlfriend wants to fight you.”  She replied, “Who is Kyaire’s girlfriend?” That was the only message she had on the controversial site. Ask.fm is controversial due to reports of bullying.

Are social programs the answer? Certainly they can help. It’s too late to save Amy. In her own bio on Twitter she described herself as somewhere between “psychotic and iconic.”  She was described as the “smart, quiet” one. The grief her parents, the community, and her friends now feel should be a huge wakeup call to the situation around them.

i wish Delaware was recognized for the good, not the bad or ugly. Wilmington is called murder town and this is why. #RIPAmy 🙁