UPDATE | Father of North Augusta High School student talks about incident

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Friday, March 31, 2017

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The father of the North Augusta High School student that fell from the railing Thursday afternoon said his daughter has been bullied for months.

Chris Matthews said he noticed a change in his 16-year-old daughter.

"She sleeps a lot. She comes home and just sleeps, and her grades took a dip from this report card from the last report card," Matthews said.

Matthews said his daughter walked into fourth period Thursday afternoon and students started to call her names so she walked out. He said she was going to jump off the railing but after a few moments she changed her mind and that's when she slipped.

Matthews said he talked to a school counselor about the problem in December.

"I didn't know it was that serious at all. I didn't know, but I still brought it up," Matthews said. "I didn't know it was going to come to this."

According to the Aiken County Public School District's website, "any student who feels he/she has been subject to harassment, intimidation or bullying is encouraged to file a complaint with the principal or his/her designee in accordance with procedures established by the superintendent."

Matthews said if you are a victim of bullying, don't stop talking about it until something is done about it.

"Talk to somebody, bring it up to the principal, nag on them," Matthews said. "Make sure something is done about it. They can't ignore you forever."

News 12 NBC26 has reached out to the Aiken County School District for more information but has not heard back. We'll update this article when we do.


Thursday, March 30, 2017

11:00 p.m.

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The father of the North Augusta High School student talked about the incident that involved his daughter and sent the high school into lockdown Thursday afternoon.

Chris Matthews said his daughter fell over the second story railing at school when she tried to hurt herself. When he and his wife arrived at the school, it was already on lockdown, and an ambulance was outside the building.

"She's laying on the ground with a neck brace, and I'm like 'what happened?'" Matthews said.

An ambulance sent his 16-year-old daughter to Children's Hospital of Georgia. Matthews said it's all because of bullying, and he brought the issue up to the school before.

"I told them how my child was crying and is upset when she comes home," Matthews said. "She was going through a little depression I guess for a little while."

Matthews said his daughter walked into fourth period Thursday afternoon, and students started to call her names, so she walked out. She was going to jump off the railing, but after a few moments, she changed her mind that's when she slipped.

"I didn't know it was that serious at all. I didn't know, but I still brought it up," Matthews said. "I didn't know it was going to come to this."

Matthews daughter said she fractured her vertebrae in the fall, but he wants his daughter to recover physically and mentally.

"I'm glad she will. I hope so. I just emotionally want her to recover," Matthews said.



4:53 p.m.

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Aiken Public Schools have released a statement regarding the incident at North Augusta High School Thursday.

"There was a tragic incident involving a 10th-grade student that occurred at North Augusta High School around 12:25 this afternoon when a student fell from upstairs to the atrium floor. The incident occurred during class time.

The student was immediately transported to a local hospital; her injuries appear to be non-life threatening at this time.

The school was placed on lockdown immediately following the incident and during the initial law enforcement investigation, which is ongoing.

We are grateful for the outpouring of support from our school community and ask that you continue to keep this student and her family in your thoughts and or prayers.

Additional counselors were at the school today and will be on-site again tomorrow supporting students and staff members."

3:30 p.m.

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- School officials confirm law enforcement in the school district is investigating the falling incident at North Augusta High School.

They say the student who fell was supposed to be in class at the time. No faculty was around at the time. According to Aiken County Public Schools officials, the fall happened in the new building of the high school on the second floor.

The lockdown happened because there was an investigation happening at the time they said. They are currently interviewing several students they do not know if there were any witnesses to the incident.

<2:30 p.m.

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- North Augusta Public Safety said they were called to North Augusta High School Thursday to provide medical help to a student that had fallen down the stairs.

The student was taken to the hospital for treatment and had injuries that were not life-threatening. Police said the student is under the age of 16.

North Augusta Public Safety Investigators and North Augusta High School said the investigation into the incident is on-going.

We have received questions from parents about students being on lockdown. We are working to confirm whether or not students are being kept in classrooms and will keep you updated.