John Tyler stabbing, one year later

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email | Twitter

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Classes started with a moment of silence at John Tyler High School, Thursday morning to commemorate the anniversary of last year's fatal stabbing.

Todd Henry was a special education teacher with Tyler I.S.D.  He was stabbed and killed, allegedly, at the hands of one of his student, 17-year-old Byron Truvia.

"This happened for a reason and things will get better in Texas and kids will feel safer," said Jan Henry, Henry's widow.  She made the comments last year, just days after the incident.

Since then, change has come to John Tyler in the form of new fences and new faces.  We met Shon Joseph this past May after he was named the new principal of John Tyler High.

"When you put some structures in place, and people get to know their roles and expectations, you raise the standards, you have an environment that's conducive to success," he said.

The campus now has a new dress code.  Upperclassmen are separated from younger students throughout much of the day.

Meanwhile, the young man at the heart of it all remains in custody inside the Smith County Juvenile Attention Center.

"Our average stay is about two weeks," said Nelson Downing.  "This has been a little unusual for him to be here for a year."

Downing said Truvia continues to get an education, along with psychological treatment and medication.

"We strive to do the very best that we can," he said.  "Can the system, as a whole be improved? Yes."

James Huggler, Truvia's attorney, said his client has struggled with mental illness since kindergarten.

"This case has had an impact on the statewide juvenile system," he said.  "Dozens, if not hundreds of children with severe mental health issues [were put] out the doors.  That has stopped very, very rapidly."

Truvia's case remains in the hands of the Texas Supreme Court.

Copyright 2010 KLTV. All rights reserved.