The death of a fifth-grade girl after a fight with another student at a South Carolina elementary school has prompted shock and outrage, and left the community with more questions than answers.
The Charleston Post & Courier reports that authorities remain tight-lipped about their investigation into the fight at Forest Hills Elementary School in Walterboro, S.C., that led to the death Wednesday of Raniya Wright, 10.
The girl’s mother said on Facebook that she believes bullying was a factor that led to the fight.
The Colleton County School District issued a statement on its Facebook page: “On March 25, a fifth-grade Forest Hills Elementary School student suffered injuries after a fight occurred in her classroom. School administrators promptly secured the scene, ended the fight and called emergency medical services to the school.”
After school officials announced the student’s death on Facebook, the district deactivated the page, hiding it from public view.
A Colleton County Sheriff’s Office incident report says school officials called 911 around 1 p.m. Monday to report that a student had collapsed. The school resource officer was already on scene.
When authorities arrived, the girl was “unconscious but breathing,” according to the report. Fire-Rescue personnel took her to Colleton Medical Center, and she was later flown to Medical University Hospital in Charleston.
An autopsy is scheduled for Friday morning to determine the cause of death.
The other fifth-grade student involved in the fight with Wright has not been identified. That student was suspended, according to district officials.
No charges associated with Wright’s death had been announced as of Wednesday.
In a prepared statement, the school district referred to Raniya Wright as a “wonderful student.”
“She loved to write, spend time with her friends, play basketball and loved being a big sister,” the statement says. “She was actively involved in her church as a junior usher. She will be missed greatly by her family, friends and the entire school community.”