Family of 5th grader who died after school fight waiting for answers, attorneys say

Attorneys will formally request ‘complete investigative file and pertinent information’ from deputies, school district

Family of 5th grader who died after school fight waiting for answers, attorneys say
RaNiya Wright

WALTERBORO, SC (WCSC) - Attorneys representing the family of a 10-year-old girl who died two days after a fight in her elementary school classroom say her family is waiting for information about the circumstances leading to the child’s death.

RaNiya Wright, 10, died Wednesday at MUSC in Charleston where she had been airlifted after a fight at Forest Hills Elementary School in Walterboro. (Source: Pizarro Law Firm)
RaNiya Wright, 10, died Wednesday at MUSC in Charleston where she had been airlifted after a fight at Forest Hills Elementary School in Walterboro. (Source: Pizarro Law Firm)

RaNiya Wright died Wednesday at MUSC in Charleston where she had been airlifted after a fight at Forest Hills Elementary School in Walterboro.

An autopsy for Wright was scheduled for Friday, but authorities have not yet released any information about the findings and the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office said it would not issue any comments until the autopsy is complete.

Attorneys Margie A. Pizarro and Myesha L. Brown are representing the family and issued a release Friday about the case and the family’s wait for word.

“They are awaiting answers to questions regarding the circumstances surrounding Raniya’s tragic death including was there appropriate supervision in the classroom, and what, if any, steps did school administrators take to intervene in the fight,” the release states. “The family joins the community in its calls for transparency and accountability from the school district and all other individuals involved.”

The release described Wright as “a wonderful student who was loved by her family, friends, and community.”

“She loved to play basketball, spend time with her friends, and serve as a junior usher at her church. The thing Raniya loved most of all, though, was being a big sister,” the release states. “Raniya’s untimely passing leaves a void in this family that will never be filled, and her family is struggling to make sense of the incident that took her life.”

Pizarro and Brown said they will formally request the complete investigative file and pertinent information from the sheriff’s office and the Colleton County School District.

“They will also be in contact with the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office to learn the results of its inquiry into this matter,” the release states.

They say Wright’s family demands change in RaNiya’s name that addresses the reasons “a child would openly express anxiety about attending school,” “legitimate fears that a child has while in the school building” and “bullying and teasing and the collateral damage when those behaviors go unchecked.”

Though rumors about bullying being involved in the fight have been spread on social media over the course of the week, there has been no official acknowledgement that bullying played a role in the fight.

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