Community leaders deliver a strong message to students about social media threats that may or may not be related to the death of Amy Joyner-Francis.
City Councilwoman Sherry Dorsey Walker, Pastor Vincent P. Oliver and Rev. Shanika Perry came together to urge teenagers to stop posting negative messages on social media in retaliation of Francis’ death.
“Amy was about peace, she was about love, she was about unity and to call for retaliation in her name that is not respectful to the family. Please be mindful that they are still grieving,” said Walker, who’s also the appointed spokesperson for the Francis family.
Last month, a school assault between students and Francis turned deadly at Howard High School of Technology. Since the incident, three students have been charged in the death of Francis.
According to Walker, she has received numerous calls from parents who are concerned about social media wars between area students.
“We do not need another ‘Amy’ on our hands. I’m just asking for everyone to let us just have peace. Can we please work together as a community and can we just work together in teaching love to our young people,” Walker said.
“Social media is not your friend. The lies and the rumors of social media they live longer than they should and they do more damage then we need them to do,” Oliver added.
Perry commended students who came together to support the family of the 16 year-old honor roll student and urged students to keep an eye out for negative social media posts.
Walker said much of the negative comments on social media are from students outside of Wilmington. However, it’s necessary to bring attention to the dangers of social media now to prevent future violence among students.
“There’s a pattern of violence that emanates from social media. This may not be a direct correlation or connection to Amy and her unfortunate incident but the pattern has fed off of the environment,” Oliver said.