School board members share response on Mae Jemison student “body slammed” by campus security officer

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - A 15-year-old student at Mae Jemison High School has been released from the hospital after being hurt in an altercation at school. The allegation is a campus security officer "body slammed" Steven Franklin while the officer was attempting to break up a fight.

The altercation sent Franklin to the Intensive Care Unit at Huntsville Hospital.

Now, the Huntsville City School Board is speaking out about the incident. Board member Michelle Watkins calls the incident concerning.

"Whether it's a security guards fault, or if it's a student's fault, or if it's a fight between students; it's always concerning when it's about students," says Watkins. She tells us she hasn't seen the video yet, but does understand police are investigating. "We are waiting for them to conduct the findings and share them with us."

Elisa Ferrell, another board member, called the person a CSO - a campus security officer. She said those officers are different from SROs - School Resource Officers, who are members of the Huntsville Police Department. "When different instances happen, we like to have more security on campus," says Ferrell. "And we hire them through our contracting agency. This gentleman did not do what he should have done so."

WHNT News 19's Aaron Cantrell ask Ferrell what "instances" happened on the campus that required the extra security.

"After the first weeks of Parkland we had extra security on campus because of the potential of copy cats. When we are told by someone in the community about the potential of a fight or threat posted on social media, or we receive an anonymous threat, we put extra people on that campus.  When there is something in the community, like shots fired, we place nearby schools on lockdown and send extra security. Needs are ever changing so we flex staff as needed," Ferrell explained.

Watkins offered words of support to the family. "We are praying for the young man," she said. "If there's anything we can do, please let us know. And we will follow the strict guidelines of what Huntsville police are findings are."

The GoFundMe account set up for Steven Franklin's Family says he is going to have a long recovery from his head injury. It also says the account, which has a goal of $5,000, will go to support his parents with his care and will supplement them while they are off work.

Franklin is now home with his family. An update on the GoFundMe page says, "Great news, Steven had been released and is home with his family. Now his recovery can begin. Thank you for your support."

NOTE: WHNT News 19 cannot guarantee how donations to personal fundraising accounts will be used.