Huntsville police and school officials are investigating an incident at Mae Jemison High School that sent a 15-year-old sophomore to the hospital in intensive care.
Steven Franklin has been at Huntsville Hospital since Monday when he was “body slammed” by a security guard at school, said Zach Finey, a family friend. Finey met Franklin about three years ago through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and became the teen’s “big brother.”
Franklin suffered a cracked skull and has internal bleeding from the run-in with the security guard, said Finey who was on his way to visit Franklin in the hospital as he spoke by phone with AL.com today.
Finey said the incident happened after a fight outside the school Monday. The security guard stepped in after punches were thrown at Franklin, Finey said.
“From there, classmates have told us the security guard picked Steven up and body-slammed him head-first into the concrete,” Finey said.
Cellphone video captured Monday at the school appears to show punches being thrown at Franklin. The video doesn’t show the encounter with the security guard. A second video clip appears to show Franklin lying on the ground with a security guard standing over him.
“We are investigating an incident involving a juvenile so there aren’t many details we can release,” said Huntsville police Sgt. Jonathan Ware, a department spokesman, in a statement to AL.com.
Huntsville City Schools spokesman Keith Ward said the school system also is looking into the incident.
“That contracted Campus Security Officer is not on campus, and will not return for the rest of this school year,” said Ward in an email. “We are actively investigating the details of this incident.”
Huntsville City Schools are holding graduation ceremonies this week.
Finey said Franklin’s condition has improved.
“He’s actually being moved from ICU to a regular room,” Finey said. “He’s walked for the first time. He’s started to ask questions about what happened. He doesn’t remember what happened, just waking up after his surgery.
“We’re just trying to get answers to what happened,” Finey added. He said school officials weren’t answering questions about the incident until media became involved and the public rallied on social media.
Finey asked for thoughts and prayers for Franklin’s family and the teen’s recovery.