Two female students fought in a hallway at Winder-Barrow High School Thursday, Sept. 5, and one suffered a fractured skull, setting off a social media frenzy over the incidents.
Both of the girls were suspended, according to the Barrow County School System. Suspension for fighting is automatic under the system's code of conduct, superintendent Chris McMichael said.
The girl who was injured, identified by her mother as Iris Narens was taken to an Atlanta hospital and later released. She is recovering at home. The other student's name was not made available.
The Barrow County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident. Sheriff Jud Smith told an Atlanta television station Tuesday night that investigators had determined that Narens was the aggressor. He said by email that 15 to 20 students may have seen the incident.
The incident began about 11 a.m. Sept. 5 after Narens corrected the other student’s math work. The two argued about the work after the class and the fight started.
In a news release about 3 p.m. Monday, Sept. 9, the sheriff’s office said it wanted to “correct inaccurate information given on some news media outlets and social media sites.”
The release said the fight started at 11:12 a.m. and the “school resource officer was on scene within minutes.” It said Narens “was treated by trained medical professionals" at the school at about 11:15 a.m.
Smith said Tuesday that "professionals" were the school RN and the "head football trainer who is an EMT." He added the heat trainer has had "extensive" training with head injuries and "is recognized as one of the best trainers" in the state "based on the numerous certifications he has received for dealing with young people with trauma of any kind."
Chrisalena Pringle, Narens' mother, took her to a hospital and then to another hospital about 2:20 p.m.
Pringle told Atlanta TV stations she was not satisfied with the way the incident was treated.
“She couldn’t walk, she couldn’t really talk, her eyes were fluttering,” Pringle said.
“Sheriff’s office personnel were not aware of a partial video of the incident until hours after the incident actually occurred,” the release said.
The sheriff said Tuesday that “there is no evidence” that the incident involved bullying.
McMichael said the incident became “more than a fight” because of posts on social media.
As of Tuesday, no charges had been filed, but by Tuesday night, Smith had told the Atlanta station that investigators had determined Narens was the aggressor and the other student was defending herself during the altercation.
"This is a very unfortunate incident. We do not condone fighting or any type of violence in our schools or the recording of incidents, and we work actively to prevent it," school system officials said in a separate news release. "We were glad to learn that our student is now home recovering. Violence, in whatever form it takes, has significant consequences and is never the answer to interpersonal conflict."
Scott Thompson contributed to this story.