This story is truly heartbreaking to say the least and sadly her untimely death occurred the same day as Prince’s death, thus her story received received minimal media attention as a result. After researching the details surrounding her death, reviewing all the #ripamy hashtags, and seeing her images blasted all over social media by young people, I felt compelled to speak about her tragic story and add my two cents on whether ‘reality tv’ and ‘social media’ play a role in teens violent behavior towards one another.
So lets get into it.
Her name was Amy Inita Joyner-Francis! A sixteen year-old girl who was viciously murdered on [April, 21st] in the bathroom of her school just minutes after her mother dropped her off at school. The alleged incident is rumored to be over a boy and or jealousy between Amy and another teen. The teen wanted to fight Amy however, Amy’s boyfriend was against the idea, but Amy confronted the teen and her friends in the bathroom stall before class began around 8:00am.
What Amy was not aware of is that the teen had already instructed her friends that if she was to lose the fight, they were to jump in and ‘finish Amy’. According to one of the attackers, Amy reportedly was ‘winning’ the fight’ so she jumped in with another teen and began hitting on Amy before another teen grabbed Amy by her hair and hit her head against the sink. The teen girls allegedly began stabbing Amy with pencils until they noticed that she was bleeding from her head and they fled the scene and went to class. One of the teen’s informed the teacher that she had just been in a fight with Amy and she’d been lying on the floor. Amy was unconscious when police arrived. Amy died shortly after being airlifted to a nearby hospital.
The students involved in the murder were ‘suspended’ from school, but no charges have been filed yet.
The ‘attackers’ have spoken out on social media to give their side of the story, and interestingly the stories have shifted now that they’ve come under heavy fire for ‘keeping it real’ with their initial thoughts.
After absorbing all of this info, I can’t imagine what Amy’s parents are going through at this moment. I’m not sure where to begin here. Even after Amy’s death, the girls involved were ‘bragging’ about her death, and no charges have been filed. There’s a video of the incident that was recorded by the attackers and yet no charges have been filed. There’s damning evidence some of which includes a ‘confession’ of sorts all over social media, and no charges have been filed. The attackers did not get expelled from school, and no charges have been filed. A young girl is dead, and no charges have been filed. SMH! What Is Going On With Our Justice System?
When this story unfolded, many people blamed ‘reality tv’ and ‘social media’ as the cause of young kids seeking attention and fame by recording violent encounters of others and or themselves for ‘bragging rights’.‘Likes’ is the ultimate goal in social media and sadly folks would post the most ‘idiotic’ ‘foolish’ and ‘inhumane’ things for attention and or ‘clicks’ so, if young people are seeing adults participate in this game, many are sure to follow. Fights that are ‘glorified’ on popular shows and websites are ‘trigger’s for young people – says one commentator.
I believe that ‘Reality TV‘ and ‘Social Media’ are ‘medium tools’ that ‘perpetuate’ violent behaviors but they are not the sole root cause. If we’re going to throw around the ‘blame card’ and then we might as well as add decades of WWE, dirty politics, violent movies and music to the list. ‘Cultural Norms’ play a huge part in what we’re witnessing today with the younger generation. The environment in which a child, teen or young adult is raised and fostered in has major influences, and it easier for he/she to adapt to those cultural norms good or bad, and that also applies to the school culture.
Back in my teen-age days, one-on-one fights was a ‘cultural norm’ but it came with different rules, and ‘jumping’ others were prohibited. If you fought your enemy, friends or family served as your security team ensuring that there was no foul play in the fight. Like boxing, there was a time limit for your fight to ensure everyone walked away safely and that was it. If you lost, you lost, if you won, more than likely your were unlikely to be ‘messed with again’ and you didn’t have to worry about any retaliation. This was called a ‘fair one’ fight.
However, I soon realized when my family moved to a different zipcode, from the neighborhood we called home for more than 15 years, the rules were vastly different. Fighting was about ‘survival’ and there were no rules. I was 16 years old when I learned the ‘cruelty’ of being jumped’.
” In short, I had a fight with a girl who I had known because she had disliked my friend. Interestingly, she didn’t want to fight my friend, so I was her chosen target. I had no family or friends as my security on this particular day and not even two minutes into the fight I felt another person kicking my thighs. I was still standing and fighting my target while being repeatedly kicked by another and 30 seconds later my left knee hit the floor. I folded my face to regain strength. In that very moment, I thought to my self, wow, I’m alone, distracted, and outnumbered but I have to make it home or else my dad is going to kill me. I arrived home later than usual, and my siblings and father were outside on the porch awaiting my arrival. I told them what happened and my father’s initial words were replied: ‘You Entered A Danger Zone The Minute You Chose To Fight On The Enemy’s Territory, Don’t Ever Do That Again’. ”
That night as lied in bed, I thought about all the fights I had been in my growing years. It was this environment where I encountered the most fights with girls, and boys who fought viciously ‘just to win’ for ‘bragging rights’. It was this environment where my neighbor friend was murdered while bike riding, and another friend slashed in her face by the petty jealousy of others. It was during this time I learned how ‘mean’ and ‘cruel’ teenagers could be.
As a teen, your reputation matters, your friends matter, your relationship matters, and depending on the environment ‘peer pressure’ is inevitable and easily to succumb to whether you are groomed in a one or two parent household. I believe Amy was beautiful teen with a bright future ahead of her who fell victim to her ‘bullies’ at school. The evidence shows that she was constantly pressured to fight the teen, and never uttered a word to her parents about her issues at school. Despite what the issues between the two were, Amy had finally taken up the offer to fight the teen, but Amy entered a ‘Danger Zone’ the minute she went into the bathroom. Amy lost her precious life at the hands of ‘vicious’ and ‘mean’ girls, and justice should be served to all of the participants involved because Amy’s LIFE MATTERS!
Our sincere condolences, and prayers for justice for Amy’s family. A gathering at ST.Paul’s AME church in Wilmington, Delaware was held for Amy on Sunday [May 1st]. The public and Amy’s family is still awaiting charges to be filed.
One Love PLUMS!