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No charges in student death, district releases details on the fight

No charges will be brought against any of the parties involved in a fight that involved 10-year-old RaNiya Wright, who died two days after being involved in that fight.
In an announcement held April 19th by both the Fourteenth Circuit Solicitor’s Office and the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office, Solicitor Duffie Stone announced that Wright died as a result of a pre-existing condition and not as a result of the school fight.
This decision is based on the results of a medical autopsy performed at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.
That autopsy report has been released to all media outlets. It states that she died from a brain lesion. This autopsy report is collaborated with detailed medical reports from the Wright family, showing the family had sought medical attention for the girl about seven times prior to the fight.
Following the criminal investigation into the fight being closed, the Colleton County School District released a statement on the girl’s death.
“As we have said in previous statements, we realize and appreciate that people want to know exactly what happened in the classroom incident at Forest Hills Elementary School on March 25, and whether that altercation contributed at all to Raniya Wright’s death two days later. The final investigative report was released by the 14th District Solicitor’s Office and the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office today. Now that we have all the facts available about this case, we can comment publicly,” said Sean Gruber, spokesman for the school district.
Now that the criminal investigation is complete, the school district’s administrative officials state they can release further details on the actual fight. Those details include the following:
Teachers previously warned both of the girls about their behaviors toward one another prior to the actual fight that occurred in the classroom;
The substitute teacher was present in the classroom when the fight occurred and separated the two girls immediately following the incident;
The “fight” included a “physical scuffle with pushing and slapping,” as stated by school district officials. It did not include anyone being “slammed” into any objects.
“We believe this report and the results of the medical examiner’s thorough autopsy can put to rest the rumors, misinformation, and speculation that have plagued our community over the past several weeks,” said Gruber, in a written statement.
“The report should send two clear messages to our community: Raniya’s death was not a result of the incident in the classroom and district employees acted appropriately to intervene with the classroom disruption and her medical emergency.
“We want to assure our community that all of our school safety procedures were followed and that we did everything we could to help Raniya. Our people stepped in several times when the two girls were not getting along that day. Teachers had warned both of them about their behavior.”
The school district’s leaders are also now saying this incident had nothing to do with bullying. These claims were made by Wright’s mother immediately following the girl’s death.
“There have been concerns that this incident was bullying. The Sheriff concluded that this was not the case,” said Gruber.
Additionally, the other student involved in the fight has been disciplined, he said.
“We are not at liberty to discuss any individual student’s disciplinary or academic record. They have a right to privacy protected by law. We can say that the student has been placed in an alternative learning setting and will not be present at the school for the rest of the semester,” he said, in a written statement.
School leaders also publicly thanked law enforcement officers for their “diligence” in the investigation. “The sudden death of Raniya Wright was a tragedy that rocked our school district. Our deepest sympathies go out to the Wright family. The loss of a child is devastating, and our entire educational family has spent the past weeks mourning her death,” said Gruber.
“We ask all of our community members to take time to think about what they can do to help us in our mission to keep children safe. By working together, we can build a stronger school district so that every child feels safe and supported.”

Heather Walters (1494 Posts)