ATLANTA — The shooting of four students at Clark Atlanta University on Wednesday brought up an all too painful memory for one mother.
Constance Franklin’s daughter, Jasmine Lynn, was killed in 2009. The 19-year-old Spelman freshman was shot and killed walking on Clark’s campus. A group of students and non-students were fighting when Lynn, an innocent bystander, was hit by a stray bullet.
Franklin told 11Alive’s Hope Ford over the phone she “relived” her daughter’s murder all over again after reading the news.
In 2010, Franklin and Lynn’s father, Clint Lynn, sued the university. The suit alleged, “CAU owed a legal duty to exercise reasonable care to protect its invitees by keeping the premises and approaches safe. Upon information and belief, CAU has had numerous instances within the recent years were AUC students have been victims of assaults, shootings, armed robbery and other violent crimes on CAU premises.”
The lawsuit was later resolved, but Franklin could not give additional details on the resolution. She did, however, say the recent shooting proves the university hasn’t done enough to protect students.
In 2009, an AUC sophomore told 11Alive in an interview after Lynn’s death, “You don’t [know] who is a student and who is not because it’s not really a safe area around the school.”
Ten years later, AUC Sophomore Natasha Stephens told 11Alive, “I just want them to have better security at our campus. It’s a very open campus. There’s a street here, there’s a street there, there’s a street down there. And, they do have security guards down there, but I feel like they should have it all around since it’s an open campus.”
11Alive reached out to Clark Atlanta to see if they would address concerns about an open campus and lack of security. So far, they have not responded.
The President of the Student Government Association for Clark University said in an Instagram post, “The People’s Administration would like to ensure our student body that we are continuously working with our Public Safety Department and the Office of Student Services and Campus Life to ensure our student body is able to learn and thrive in a safe environment.”
Representatives of Spelman and Clark Atlanta also released statements about the recent shootings.
Spelman's, signed by Vice President for Student Affairs Darryl B. Holloman, said in part: "Our hearts go out to the students, their families and loved ones, during this extremely difficult time. The entire Spelman community is here to support them."
The school said counselors will be available to students.
"We are asking our faculty to be aware and prepared to support those students experiencing the effects of this tragedy who may not be in class, as well as others who will attend class, but will need guidance and an opportunity to discuss any concerns," the statement added.
Clark Atlanta President Lucille H. Maugé has also released a statement since the incident.
"Members of the Office of Student Affairs have been in touch with the students and their families and are providing assistance, and I will be visiting the students at the hospital," she said. "The entire CAU community is here to support the students and their families during this difficult time."