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A 10-year-old girl is dead following an alleged classroom fight at a South Carolina elementary school.
Fifth-grader Raniya Wright was reportedly killed following a classroom brawl with a fellow female student on March 25, according to a statement posted by Colleton School District. The school is located in Walterboro, a small city about 50 miles west of Charleston.
She “suffered injuries after a fight occurred in her classroom,” the district's statement stated. “School administrators promptly secured the scene, ended the fight and called emergency medical services to the school.”
Wright was reportedly unconscious when emergency responders arrived on the scene. She was airlifted to the Medical University of South Carolina but died March 27, according to the statement.
The statement added that the school district is still investigating the incident and that the other student involved has been “suspended until the investigation is complete.”
The victim's mother, Ashley Wright, also confirmed her daughter's passing in a Facebook post.
“As of 9:39 [a.m.] my baby girl has gain[ed] her wings,” Wright said.
In an earlier Facebook post, Wright alleged Raniya was bullied.
“This is what bullying cause[s],” she said.
That post, which included a photo showing Wright kissing her daughter, unconscious and incapacitated by respiratory tubes in a green hospital gown, added, “Stay woke PARENTS!”
Carr said that Wright had previously approached school administrators about her daughter being picked on.
"She doesn't know why this happened, especially when she has been to the school about her daughter being bullied before."
Oxygen.com was unable to verify these allegations or reach Wright.
However, during the 2016-2017 school year, Colleton County School District had “the seventh highest number of instances of bullying out of 85 school districts in South Carolina,” according to data obtained from South Carolina’s Department of Education by Charleston newspaper The Post and Courier.
“Raniya was a wonderful student,” Colleton County School District’s Office of the Superintendent said in a statement.
“She loved to write, spend time with her friends, play basketball, and loved being a big sister. 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.”
The school district added it was providing counseling services to its students, their families, and staff.
However, details surrounding the circumstances of the little girl’s tragic death are scarce.
It’s unclear whether a teacher was in the classroom at the time of the fight, why it began, who the other student is, or how exactly Wright was killed. The school district and local authorities have been largely mute, sparing only limited snippets of information.
“Due to this being an ongoing investigation, I’m unable to disclose further details,” said Shalane Lowes, a spokesperson for the Colleton County Sheriff's Office.
Lowes said that no weapons were involved, no arrests have been made, and no charges have been filed as of yet. She added that an autopsy of the fifth-grader has been scheduled for Friday.
Sean Gruber, a communications officer for the Colleton County School District, responded to Oxygen.com via email, but declined to give a comment. He instead referenced the school district’s vague statement.
“I want to assure our entire community that we are taking this incident very seriously and cooperating fully with the Colleton County Sheriff's Office,” the school district’s website stated.
“After the investigation is concluded, we will thoroughly review the findings and address any areas of concern identified through the investigation.”
Meanwhile, Walterboro, a quiet southern city of roughly 5,000 people, is reeling from the tragic incident.
“There’s a lot of questions that people have,” the 45-year-old pastor added. “There isn’t any answer right now. The lack of [perceived] transparency at the moment, we have no control over that. What we do have control over, is bringing people together to pray.”
“This is not a time for us to be speculating or guessing about what happened,” Brown said in a Facebook live video calling on the community to unite.
“We don’t all the facts about [the] situation but what we do know is that there are a lot of hurting people,” he added.
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