Special education teacher Todd Henry worked with troubled students for years and had been injured at school before.
The onetime prison therapist who died Wednesday after being stabbed in a classroom, allegedly by one of his students, missed the first two weeks of this school year recovering from shoulder surgery after breaking up a fight at John Tyler High School last year.
"He worked in a prison for 10 years. Do you think this man was afraid? Get real," said his wife, Jan Shaw Henry.
A 16-year-old male student was being held at a juvenile detention facility, according to the Tyler school district, after authorities said he fatally stabbed Henry, 50, on Wednesday.
The student approached Henry around 8:50 a.m. and stabbed him in the neck with a sharp object, District Superintendent Randy Reid said. A teacher's aide and two other students were in the classroom, and the aide subdued the suspect before calling district police, Reid said.