BARROW COUNTY, Ga. - Police now say a teenage girl assumed to be the victim in a violent attack at her high school was actually the aggressor in the fight and "swung first."
A disturbing video of the fight at Winder-Barrow High School last week circulated on social media and prompted several parents to reach out to Channel 2 Action News.
In the video, 17-year-old Iris Narens gets into a confrontation in the hallway with another student, who we are not identifying. That student appears to slam Narens' head into a wall.
Narens was airlifted to an Atlanta hospital where she was treated for a skull fracture and other serious injuries.
We are not identifying the other student because she is a juvenile. Narens' family reached out to Channel 2 Action News and identified her.
Channel 2 Investigative Reporter Nicole Carr is in Barrow County, where Sheriff Jud Smith said there is more to the story than rumors and what spread on social media.
"What we found out is the young lady that sustained the injury was the primary aggressor in the situation."Sheriff lays out investigation into Winder-Barrow HS fight that ended with girl's life flight to hospital & lit up social media. More behind cringeworthy video -@wsbtv at 5 pic.twitter.com/ymvhjNtG9n— Nicole Carr (@NicoleCarrWSB) September 10, 2019
"What we found out is the young lady that sustained the head injury was the primary aggressor in the situation, and we can factually say that happened," Smith said. "Not minimalizing her injuries in any way. She was the aggressor. The other young lady defended herself.'
Judd said the trouble started in a late-morning math class.
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One girl said she knew the answer to a math problem. The second girl, Narens, took it from there, according to police.
Smith said Narens didn't allow the other girl to pass her once they got outside of class.
"The young lady who sustained the injury against the wall took a swing at the other young lady first," Smith said. "What you see on the video is only about four seconds and you don't see what happened prior."
Narens' mother, Chrisalena Pringle, reached out to Channel 2 Action News to tell her daughter's side of the story Sunday.
"When I first saw Iris, 'I pray my daughter does not die on me,' was my first thought," Pringle said.
Pringle said her daughter could barely walk and talk when she arrived at the school after the fight and that no one called 911.
But Smith said Narens was alert and talking to a head-injury trained nurse, a deputy and an EMT at the school before her mother took her to a local hospital about a half -hour later.
The hospital later referred them to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite for the head injury, so Narens took a Life Flight to Atlanta and was released within 24 hours.
Pringle also said the other girl called her daughter a racially charged name. Smith said that is not the case.
"Nothing was racially charged in this incident," Smith said. "Another word that was used was that it was a bullying situation. Neither one of the students had ever had a problem with one another. Neither of them had sought each other out until this day."
Smith was adamant that there was no bullying going on, at least when it came to this fight.
"We want people to know that these kids were not bullying each other, that it was not a bullying situation," Smith said. "That it was handled right then."
Authorities say it's still possible that charges could be filed in the case. Prosecutors will take on the investigation and decide whether any assault or battery-related charges will be filed.
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