Officials say assault at Harpeth Middle School didn't happen - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Officials say assault at Harpeth Middle School didn't happen


School leaders and sheriff's deputies in Cheatham County now say a middle school girl was never assaulted by a group of boys at Harpeth Middle School.

Channel 4 previously reported the school district was looking into reports that a girl was assaulted in the school hallway.

Family members of the seventh-grader told Channel 4 they were upset that they were not being allowed to see video from inside the school of the incident

The student's sister claimed her sister was coming from lunch when a pack of bullies attacked her in the hallway.

"They pushed my sister up against the wall. I guess they had food left over from lunch, and they smashed it in her face and put it in her hair," her sister said.

Her sister said that when the frightened 13-year-old tried to get the food out of her eyes, things got worse.

"The main boy lifted her shirt, exposing her breasts, and, of course, all the boys pointed, laughed and made awful comments," her older sister said.

School officials said it is against policy to let outside parties who aren't police to see surveillance video exposing other juveniles.

A Cheatham County school resource officer was asked to investigate, and, ultimately, one boy was punished.

After talking to students again, authorities now say an assault never happened.

"Two of the witnesses, they gave the statements first. They recanted. After digging a little bit further, they advised that what they have said was not true. It wasn't right," said Travis Walker, with the Cheatham County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators also obtained and reviewed the video surveillance from the school.

"The surveillance video showed the incident that was said to have happened actually did not happen. Not even close. The one thing that did occur was one male juvenile smashed some type of granola bar cookie in a girl's face and in the hair, and then they separated," Walker said.

They say they don't know why the students made up the story.

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