Today marks the first anniversary of the death of Amy Joyner-Francis. Students around the state are enjoying their last day of Spring Break before the weekend kicks in and they go back to school on Monday. The leaves are popping out and flowers are in bloom. It’s a foggy and overcast morning, just like the one on April 21st, 2016. Those who contributed to Amy’s death have gone through the legal sentence and two out of three await sentencing.
I still think about Amy’s death quite a bit. It was a shock to all of us in Delaware that students could be so vicious. We learned the details of Amy’s death after. We know there was a sharp increase in the number of fights at Howard High School of Technology. We know social media played a huge role in the events leading to her death. We know the perpetrators planned the fight ahead of time. But nothing prevented Amy’s death. It should have.
I can’t imagine what it must be like to be Amy’s family. No parent should ever lose a child. But this case was very public.
I look at it this way, based on my beliefs. Amy has spent a year in Heaven with God our Father. She doesn’t know pain or suffering and I have no doubt she has shared her love with her family and friends. Her grace could be the feeling of calm and peace some of them felt in odd moments over the past year.
I hope we have learned some lessons from Amy’s death. I hope her death meant something and it contributed to something bigger. I hope we have learned to be a little bit kinder to people and to be a little more forgiving. I hope we have learned that sometimes words of healing are better than hands of violence. It won’t take away the heartache and grief so many still feel for her, but we all get a lifetime.