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Student witnesses fight, teacher collapse

POSTED: Wednesday, September 23, 2009 - 5:01pm

UPDATED: Thursday, April 8, 2010 - 3:49am

TYLER - One student recounts what he witnessed this morning at John Tyler High School. He says he saw a teacher break up a fight, then collapse after being stabbed.

Other students weigh in about their former teacher, who died from his stabbing injuries.

Comments News Comments

First off i would like to say that i know that this was 3 weeks ago but them kids did not have to sit there and lie just so they could be on tv, because i did know Mr.Henry and yes he was a very nice man and please the people on here who think they know every thing well you don't because if you want the real truth then go to KLTV 7 and they have the real story on what happen at John Tyler, and to clear everything up he was stabbed in the NECK in a classroom not trying to break up a fight, and i have one more thing to say GET OFF MY SCHOOL JT cause all the kids are not bad

After leaving Mr. Henry's memorial service today, my wife was approached by an nbc56 reporter. The reporter asked my wife how she knew Todd and my wife responded "I worked with him at St. Louis." The reporter stared at us as she did not know what my wife was talking about. We had to tell her that St. Louis was a school here in Tyler.

Seems to me that if a reporter were going to cover a local story they would be aware of their locale.

So, for the record: St. Louis, Wayne D. Broshears is a TISD school facility on Walton Rd. There are many excellent teachers and staff who work tirelessly with children of special needs. Mr. Todd Henry was one of those. With the patience of Job and the gentleness of an angel, he worked to brighten the lives and faces of those special children. He then moved to JTHS to work with special children on that campus.

Thank you for listening, you're now blocked from our channel list.
Goodnight and Good luck.

To get things straight...there was no fight involving the teacher getting stabbed. It happened in an classroom with the teacher, his aid, and a very small number of students including the suspect. There was no way that security could've helped because it happend in a classroom and luckily there were officers outside after the incident. Our school is getting bashed for this when we have great students who work hard and stay out of trouble. Its time to left this family mourn their loss in peace. Get better students on the air instead of the students whos grammar isn't so well. If you're not a student of JTHS then you should have nothing to say about us because of the simple fact that this could've happened anywhere in the nation or even at other local schools in the East Texas area. It doesn't matter what goes on at the other schools because they have problems like any other typical public high school. Let our school mourn in peace stop putting us on the news and coming over to try and get stories because its only hurtting the family of Mr. Henry and the JTHS Family because of all of the false rumors. Race shouldn't be an issue also the main thing this should be centered around is the death of a great man the school had nothing to do with this!!!!

To the sponsors of KETK news: I have blocked KETK from my television. My family will no longer give our time to a "news" organization that sensationalizes and demeans the death of an educator. You showed no regard for the life of Mr. Henry and allowed students to make a circus of the situation. How about interviewing more people, doing more investigation and airing the video that was more appropriate and somber? The old adage "if it bleeds, it leads" most certainly applies to KETK. You took the most sensational manner possible and let students jump and clown around in front of the camera as though you were filming a class field trip.

My most sincere sympathy goes to the Henry family.

Goodbye KETK

I agree with the previous comments regarding the inappropriateness of how the information regarding this story was obtained, interpreted and displayed to be very misleading to the viewing audience. In fact, at the time I first saw the interview I composed the following email and sent it to the station:
Sir or Ma'am,
Having a working knowledge of the students and staff of TISD, I am deeply saddened by the events that occurred Wednesday morning.
That said, the broadcast Wednesday evening showed a severe lack of judgment and reporting integrity on the part of the staff of KFXK and producers.
The comments and opinions made be the students were not only unrelated to the events that had occurred on the school campus, the manner in which your station tied the interviews with reporter interpretation most likely mislead listeners/viewers of the report. The superintendents interview, which appeared to be played in full and contained accurate information, was discounted by the aforementioned student interviews and discounted afterwards by the news commentators comments. In doing so, your station has brought great discredit upon itself and the media community. There is a fine line between not telling the whole truth and outright lying, and in my opinion your station is flirting a little too close.
As an active member of this community, I feel it is my responsibility to let you know that this type of behavior is not appropriate, will not be tolerated and that higher standards are expected of the media. It is my intention to pursue this matter through the proper authoritative channels to ensure that the staff of KFXK are clear of their duties as it pertains to gathering, reporting and broadcasting media to the community.
Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions.

REPLY:
Neal Barton [neal@nbc56.com]
I would be careful accusing anyone of lying.

The students and the parents have their side as does tisd.

Dr reid got more air time than anyone today.

We purposely ran his comments unedited so no one could accuse us of editing anything.

If anyone is not being truthful they will look bad in the end.

This whole ordeal is far from over.

Thank you for writing.

Again, having obtained information from the administration within TISD I can state with a strong amount of certainty that the incident regarding the fatal injury to Mr. Henry yesterday was NOT directly related to any of the comments made by the students, or parents in the above video in regards to racial motivation, security issues, nor any lack of character and caring of the TISD faculty towards the students and parents.

Let's look at the broadcast:
1)The shock and awe factor was displayed first. A teacher was killed.
2)Back that up with a videographer that restates the accounts of young students jumping and waving at a tv camera to get face time, as facts relating to the incidents that occurred that day. He starts off the interview, before the questions even start that he (the reporter) though that Mr. Henry was a computer teacher. What! You mean you don’t even know this man’s profession, any of his background and you want to interview some students who can verify or disprove this because they barely even know who Mr. Henry is, yet as follows are details regarding the incident. Keep in mind that the first student that gave his account was something to the effects of: that he was walking by, then something happened, and the next thing he new he saw two students fighting. If this is true, how did this student see a fight as he was walking by a classroom with closed doors during the regular classroom time period? Just by chance going on a bathroom break? Not likely. Furthermore, this student could not correct the reporters assumption that Mr. Henry is in fact not a computer teacher, and works in the special education department. If this student was just by chance walking by and saw a fight don’t you think he would know that he was walking by the special education room(s), versus walking by a computer lab/classroom. And now the reporter sums of these statements as fact that Mr. Henry was stabbed as he was breaking up a fight. When asked to confirm this statement, both young men state “yea” and look away from the reporter and camera. Now a girl chimes in and says it was going on all morning. Really? So these two students in a special education classroom were fighting all morning under the supervision of a man, Mr Henry, who used to work in a prison, and he didn’t do anything about it? To the point he was stabbed? Next, we back up this racial aggression to yesterday by the young man standing next to her. He states that their has been tension between the Black and Hispanic communities within the school. She backs this up by saying it has been going on for weeks. Humor me and let’s say this is true. You honestly don’t think that if these tensions were as severe and chronic as these students attested to, that the faculty and staff would have done anything? While TISD is no gold star school district, they are not new to this game.
So if two students were involved in a fight and one is responsible for injuring Mr. Henry, and subsequently led to his death, why was only one student arrested? Hmmm? No mention of a second student even being taken into custody, or questioned.
Next subject is led into by stating that parents are upset about security, as a statement of fact. The reported is stating a fact on the behalf of parents. Is this two parents, or 50% of the parents at the school? So now we follow up by asking the student population about security! I can’t wait to see what their opinion is. Young man #1 chimes in and says that students just need to know how to act…it’s a time to do everything. What, what does that mean? The reporter doesn’t get the answer he is looking for, so what does he do he rephrases the question more adamantly that the parents are upset about security (nodding his head, like yes agree with me) and then changes the question to simply, do you agree with me (again, nodding his head up and down).
3) We follow this by playing the superintendents interview, in full, unedited. I commend them on this. Very fair, vary accurate.
4) We follow the superintendents statement by angry parents upset about security. Subject has totally changed and parents are now asked their input regarding security after the superintendents statement has been discounted by the assumed facts that Mr. Henry’s injuries occurred as a result of chronic tension and a racially motivated altercation among (two) students.
5) And finally, our lovely reporter further discounts the superintendent’s statement by once again summing up the interviews of students and parents as facts.

Let’s face it folks this story has more holes in it than swiss cheese. Now some of these statements may and are probably true. Are their racial tensions? Was there a text message sent that indicated the potential for physical violence? Do parents think that more security is needed for these problems? Sure.
Are these statements of fact related to what happened there that morning? ABSOLUTELY NOT! The FACT is no one interviewed on television, none of the reporters, none of the students or parents had ANY idea what happened, when, where, why and how! The students heard something, from someone, who heard it from someone (ie RUMORS!!) and because a camera was there though it okay to state their rumors as fact. The only FACT that bears any TRUTH are the superintendents statements. As much as one may not like it, he is the one in charge, the big Kaunas! That right, and as such wouldn’t one think he might have done a bit of FACT gathering before broadcasting a taped official statement, on the record, on behalf of the TISD that can be reviewed and scrutinized by members of the society (parents, teachers, staff, lawyers, school board members)? I don’t know this man, but my guess is yea, he probably had the facts.

A television news reporter shows up and wants to interview you. Even a high school student knows that they are of no use and won’t get airtime (attention) if they don’t have some information to give this guy. What does one do? They find a way to lead the reporter on that they know something about something that may be related to what happened today.
A news reporter shows up and needs a story and comes across a group of students, or students voluntarily gather around his camera. Surely one of these students must know something, right? Well, they don’t have exactly the answers to the questions I have prepared, so what does one do? I think I can help these students answer my questions, by leading them towards the answer I am looking for.

Great job, awesome investigative reporting! You’ve made society a better place, and will help the community sleep better at night knowing that you have uncovered the truth.

Mr. Henry is an awesome Christian man that spent the last few years of his life taking a special interest in kids, trying to solve their problems before they start. He was an educator and worked like all teachers trying to get kids to evaluate information, exercise critical thinking skills and make the right decisions.
After time passes by and you have a chance to get to know the life of Mr. Henry and his family and moreso his coworkers, every single teacher of the TISD, how do you think he would feel about the report? Do you think these interviews worked towards or against their goals?
I challenge the staff of the news station to allow this post to stay (unedited), and allow others to read. The difference between this post and the broadcast is merely a matter of convenience.

This news report was a disgrace. Have you no compassion for the family of the man who was murdered yesterday? How sad that not one student that you chose to interview showed any sadness or concern for a man who just died moments before. They were only there to be on TV. I saw students smiling, laughing, jumping up and down and waving at the camera like this was a "snow day". Why you would give them air time is beyond me. This report was in poor taste and I will never watch your news program again. You owe Mr. Todd Henry's family an apology for your total disregard for his life and for their sorrow. Shame on you and everyone acting out during your interview.

This news report was a disgrace. Have you no compassion for the family of the man who was murdered yesterday? How sad that not one student that you chose to interview showed any sadness or concern for a man who just died moments before. They were only there to be on TV. I saw students smiling, laughing, jumping up and down and waving at the camera like this was a "snow day". Why you would give them air time is beyond me. This report was in poor taste and I will never watch your news program again. You owe Mr. Todd Henry's family an apology for your total disregard for his life and for their sorrow. Shame on you and everyone acting out during your interview.

Everyone keeps on blaming the staff of John Tyler. WHY!! The students are the ones who started the fight and caused this problem. Hindsight is always 20/20.

I have a brother who attends John Tyler, and i do believe that there is way more to the story than what the super intendant and staff are saying. what has happened to day is awful, but I do recall everyday pretty much my brother would come home telling me how there was a fight at school. Fights that are gang related at this school have just become a part of attending school for John Tyler students is what it seems like. I'm not trying to say Chapel Hill is the best school or say that I am any better for attending school there, but at Chapel Hill throughout the 4 years I was there, I can remember maybe 3 fights. The staff at John Tyler must be doing something wrong. Yes we know John Tyler is way bigger but that doesn't justify all the problems they have. All the privilages need to be taken away from these kids until they can behave in a good manner. This also affects your good students, but eventually the students will start to speak up on their own about behavior, and not being able to have all the fun things that should be a part of high school.
Also if gangs are such a big issue and concern, I would look into uniforms for this school. Yes students will say "im not going to school if we have to wear uniform". Ok, so be it! Dont go to school. But you know what it will eventually come back to kick them in the rear end! Dont you have to be enrolled and with a good attendance record to have and keep your license? If they don't go to school, they don't have a license, or t gets suspended! then you got the truency tickets, let them deal with the consequences! They will soon realize that coming to school and getting there act together is far more worth it than goofing off and thinking fights and getting in trouble at school should be a daily activity for them. True parents may be upset about having to pay a fine, but you know what maybe this will get parents a little more involved with the way their child carries himself/herself. The discipline for John Tyler students would start from home, and parents will be forced to stay involved with their childs behavior!!! Students will always be more afraid of their parents than they will be a principal or a teacher.

KETK-
Why would you air this clip, on TV or on your website? A teacher is murdered and you offer a clip of kids goofing off, clowning for the camera, laughing in the background, and providing their version of the facts of the situation.

This report was neither informative nor respectful.

I've heard from teachers there was an altercation a couple of weeks ago between black and hispanic students involving 10-15 students and there was an altercation between blacks and hispanics yesterday before first period. These students confirm that information, that Mr. Henry was attempting to break up a fight and was stabbed, which goes against the official statement that it was an isolated incident. The text message intercepted also confirms an ongoing escalation of tension.

Thank you KETK for airing what other sources have omitted.

well KETK is lieing because Mr. Henry was Stabbed in the NECK in a classroom, Not trying to break up a fight take it from someone who goes to JOHN TYLER HIGH SCHOOL and you need to stop listening to those freshman there and no i'm not a freshman im a JUNIOR

I completely agree, I turned off the interview!

Why would you say this wasn't informative? Tyler ISD is going to filter the facts and say that this was an isolated incident. These kids are raw and unfiltered. They're basically saying this was something that had been escalating for a week. Which even if their facts aren't perfect I doubt they'd just make up that this had been going on for a while.

I have no knowledge of the other problems the students are speaking of. I am speaking only of the information and facts surrounding the stabbing and death of the teacher. Based on the best information I as a TISD employee received today, the stabbing incident was unrelated to other issues that may be going on at John Tyler HS.

Quite simply, as a fellow teacher I find this "unfiltered" report demeaning to the memory of Mr. Henry.

The information is false. The teacher was not breaking up a fight.

I hate to see such a tragedy like this in our hometown. This man clearly had a passion for teaching. I worry about the message this will send to our teachers, or to any child who wants to become a teacher.

Now more than ever we need prayer in school. We need prayer for the misguided child who committed such an act; prayer for his family, who has to live with what he has done; prayer for the family of the teacher who gave his life doing what he loved - teaching our youth; and prayer for the children and teachers who were traumatized by this event.

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