South Carolina 5th-grader dies after classroom fight on Monday

4/4/2019 Update: Hundreds of people attended 10-year-old RaNiyah Wright's funeral on Wednesday. Wright was carried to the funeral by a white carriage pulled by two white horses. It took place at Saints Center Ministries in Walterboro. Friday will be a day of remembrance for Wright at her school.

The Colleton County School District released the following statement on Friday:

All of us in the school district were touched by Raniya Wright’s funeral service Wednesday. We send our deepest sympathies to the family of Raniya, and we will do whatever we can as a district to help our community mourn, and heal from, this loss.

We will continue to offer counseling and other support services to our students, teachers, and staff for the next few weeks. Please reach out to us if you need our assistance.

We know that this has been an emotionally draining time for many people in our region. We know that members of our community may have questions and concerns as we try to sort out the details surrounding this tragedy. We realize and appreciate that people want to know exactly what happened in this incident.

However, it is important for our school district to make sure that the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office thorough investigation, relying on all of the facts available, is concluded before we comment publicly.

Our school district must ensure that we respect all laws regarding student privacy and confidentiality rights. We also do not want to release any statement that could jeopardize the continuing investigation. Once the investigation is complete, we will release a full report to the public.

Now is the time for our community to mourn the loss of a child. The facts of this tragedy will become clearer in the weeks ahead.

Wright's parents are still looking for answers about her death.

Late Tuesday, State Sen. Margie Bright Matthews made comments on the floor that Wright was not kicked or attacked by several students. The Democrat says the 10-year-old didn’t bang her head. She added that a substitute teacher was on duty that day and that the incident initially appeared to be a “simple back and forth” between two young girls.

The Colleton County School District reacted to Bright Matthews’ comments.

“We realize and appreciate that people want to know exactly what happened in this incident," district spokesman Sean Gruber said. "However it is important for us as a school district to make sure that the Colleton County Sheriff Office’s thorough investigation relying on all of the facts available is concluded before we comment publicly. Now is the time for our community to mourn the loss of a child. The facts of this tragedy will become clearer in the weeks ahead.”

An autopsy was performed on Wright Friday morning but said complete results could take weeks to come in.

Fourteenth Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone said that after the results of tests performed during the autopsy are complete and the investigation is finished, they will first share the results with Wright’s family and then with the public.

(Story courtesy of WTOC.com.)

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WALTERBORO, SC - The coroner’s office has identified the fifth grader who died after a classroom fight that required her to be airlifted to a Charleston hospital on Monday.

Ten-year-old Raniya Wright passed away this morning at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, according to Colleton County Coroner Richard Harvey.

Deputies say an autopsy has been scheduled for early Friday and the sheriff’s office will issue a statement after the autopsy is complete.

A post on the Colleton County School District's Facebook page Wednesday morning confirmed the student's death.

“We are devastated by this news, and we want our communities to keep their thoughts and prayers with the student’s family at this time,” the post reads.

A district spokesman said that a crisis team has been on campus since the incident and it will remain there for the foreseeable future to ensure everyone gets support.

The child was injured Monday during what district officials called a fight in her classroom at Forest Hills Elementary School.

Colleton County deputies confirmed they were investigating an assault between two students.

It's been confirmed that one student was suspended.

The Colleton County School District said on Tuesday it is cooperating with law enforcement in the investigation.

Meanwhile, comments on the facebook page belonging to Wright's mother indicate that her daughter had been the victim of bullying and that the fatal injuries were not from just a 'slip and fall'.

 
 
 
Laura Anderson

Laura Anderson

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