RaNiya Wright photo

School knew about history of fights in same classroom that left 5th grade girl dead after brawl, lawyer says

Attorneys for the family of a South Carolina girl who died after a school fight, are calling for accountability after claiming the school knew about previous altercations inside the same classroom where the brawl took place.

NBC 4 reports that Mark Peper, one of the lawyers hired by the family of 10-year-old RaNiya Wright, indicated that there were “worrisome behaviors” in the classroom prior to the fight that left the little girl dead.

“It’s been made pretty clear to us that there’s been a pattern of behavior over the last 4 or 5 years…..It would be fair to say that the school was on notice that there were some altercations occurring on a very regular basis between individuals in this specific classroom.”

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As CrimeOnline previously reported, RaNiya, a student at Forest Hills Elementary School in Walterboro, got into a physical altercation with another student last Monday inside a classroom. RaNiya was rushed to the Colleton Medical Center, then transferred to the Medical University of South Carolina, where she succumbed to her injuries.

According to a spokesperson for the Colleton County School District, no weapons were involved in the fight and no one is facing criminal charges at this time. The other student involved in the altercation has been suspended. Colleton County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Shalane Lowes said that the case is open and being actively investigated.

Father of Raniya Wright speaks publicly.

Father of Raniya Wright speaks publicly.

Posted by WCIV | ABC News 4 on Monday, April 1, 2019

 

Officials haven’t yet said what caused the fight, according to CBS 13, but court records indicate that that attack is listed as “simple assault” on the police report.

While Peper said there were apparent issues at the school, he didn’t outright call the incident bullying. He also said RaNiya’s father, who’s reportedly desperate to understand the events surrounding his child’s death, has received “almost no information” from the school or law enforcement officials.

Facebook family and friends let's keep this family in prayers. So sad. A fight at school led to this. Bullying.

Posted by Chicquetta Anderson on Wednesday, March 27, 2019

 

An autopsy was performed on RaNiya on Friday, but so far, the results have not been released. Colleton County Sheriff R.A. Strickland and Fourteenth Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone indicated it could several weeks before the autopsy results are released.

“We want to give the public as much information as possible, however it is important that everyone remember that all conclusions should be held until all investigation is concluded and all of the test results are in,” Stone said, according to CBS 8.

“At this time, it is premature to assume whether there will be any criminal charges stemming from this incident.”

Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.

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[Feature Photo: RaNiya Wright/Handout]