Mom of 10-Year-Old Girl Who Died After a Classroom Fight Says the School Failed Them

Raniya Wright
Raniya Wright
Photo: GoFundMe

The mother of Raniya Wright, the 10-year-old South Carolina girl who died after getting into a fight at school, says she had long complained to the school about her child being bullied but that authorities did nothing to protect her.

In an interview that aired Monday on Good Morning America, Ashley Wright said she feels betrayed by officials at Forest Hills Elementary School in Walterboro, S.C. Raniya got into a fight with a fifth-grade classmate at the school March 25 and died at a hospital two days later.


“I’ve been complaining about the person that she fought numerous times to them,” Wright said of her daughter’s school in the GMA interview. “That’s what really breaks me down and makes me question to myself why nothing was never done up until now with this happening. ... They failed me.”

Wright told GMA she believed her daughter had long been bullied, saying that increasingly, Raniya had been asking to stay home from school.

Raniya had been having problems with the classmate she fought, another fifth-grade girl, for more than a year, Wright said, adding that she had called the school on her daughter’s behalf numerous times, but nothing was resolved.

The Colleton County Sheriff’s Office is investigating, but “notes there were no weapons involved” in the fight, and authorities have listed it as a “simple assault,” according to the Macon Telegraph.


The girl involved in the altercation with Raniya has been suspended from school, officials say. And while an autopsy has been performed, no official cause of Raniya’s death has been announced.

The Colleton County School District says it is holding off making an official statement until law enforcement officials conclude their investigation.


That’s left the Wright family frustrated and demanding answers.

“The school failed,” Raniya’s grandfather Ernie Wright said. “They don’t want to admit that they failed. ...But you can’t just take everything and sweep it under the rug.”

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I think the question should be what is wrong with kids at that school to where they beat one another to death? That literally never happened, nor anything remotely like that, when I was a kid. We’re talking about ten-year-olds. Do you know how little, and how mentally undeveloped, a ten-year-old is? First of all, they just don’t get into actual fist fights very often. But when ten-year-olds fight, they punch the other a little, or slap the other, and might get a cut or some scraped up elbows or knees, but they don’t die. Something is severely wrong with the children there if they fight this often, and this violently. You can blame the teachers, you can blame the school, but let’s also figure out what the hell is wrong with these kids. Urban schools in particular have significantly higher rate of violent assaults.  Teachers can’t watch everybody all the time.  Something else is wrong here.