One week later, John Tyler High School principal speaks out

By Layron Livingston - bio | email

TYLER, TEXAS (KLTV) - Dr. Carol Saxenian, John Tyler High School's new principal said she has no plans of leaving anytime soon.  Meanwhile, there is still plenty of work to be done to keep the campus moving forward.

Sitting in front of a life-sized, stuffed John Tyler Lion, Saxenian said she had no time to be afraid last Wednesday morning.  Moments later, paramedics arrived.  The principal eventually learned one of the teachers had been stabbed.  The campus went into lock down.

"I believe in my heart that this situation could not have been prevented," she said.  "What I can control is how we react and what we do to ensure success after such a tragedy."

Dr. Saxenian said campus safety is a priority.  She said good measures were in place when the incident happened, even after hall monitors were removed from campus.

"There's always room to say, what can we do differently, what can we add, what can we do better," she said.  "To say that you're 100 percent secure is a pretty strong statement."

This week, TISD announced eight new security wands and three new metal detectors were headed to John Tyler and Robert E. Lee.  The district is also considering hiring security consultants.  Saxenian said there are other plans in place to keep things positive, such as giving teachers time to work and analyze and assess the needs of students.

She said she hopes to meet with about 30 students each month  to get input on what can make John Tyler a better place.

In the meantime, she said students are pulling together to help move forward.  A poster filled with notes from Robert E. Lee High School students is on display for passing students and faculty.  It was delivered Friday.

"I'm impressed by the type of man [Henry] was, not only as a teacher, but as a community member."

Saxenian did not comment directly about 16-year-old Byron Truvia, the student accused of stabbing Henry, but she said she hopes an individual learns from the situation so they can move forward in their life.

She has similar hopes for the campus.

"You just can't imagine the number of students here that are focused on education, focused on goals," she said.  "I believe in my heart, this is a great place. There's a great group of students here."

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