A fifth-grader died following a fight at a rural South Carolina school.

10-year-old RaNiya Wright, a Forest Hills Elementary School student, died Wednesday, March 27, after she was taken off life support at the Medical University of South Carolina.

RaNiya’s mother, Ashley Wright, announced her daughter’s passing in a Facebook post.

“As of 9:39 my baby girl has gain(ed) her wings. Justice4ny,” she wrote on Wednesday.

The police have been tight-lipped about the cause of death. But community residents whose children attend the school say RaNiya was choked out by a fellow fifth-grader while the substitute teacher was out of the classroom.

School administrators stopped the fight, according to The Post and Courier. RaNiya was unresponsive but still breathing in the school nurse’s office when emergency responders arrived. She was airlifted to MUSC where she was placed on life support.

An autopsy is scheduled as is normal procedure when a person dies of unnatural causes.


Ashley Wright said RaNyiya was constantly bullied in class, but others on social media say she was the bully.

S.C. Rep Justin Bamberg, whose district includes Waterboro, was disturbed by the news.

“How in the hell does this happen in an elementary school,” Bamberg said Wednesday. “When a little girl dies after a fight, it really makes you question what type of leadership is going on there and what are the adults doing.”

More than 20 counselors and psychologists were on site to offer support to students and staff. The school continued on a normal schedule and students were seen playing on the playground.

In a statement on the school’s website, the school district called RaNiya a “wonderful student” who “loved to write, spend time with her friends, play basketball and loved being a big sister.”

The statement continued: “She was actively involved in her church as a junior usher. She will be greatly missed by her family, friends and the entire school community.”

Residents placed stuffed animals and flowers at a makeshift memorial outside the school. A mother of four stopped by to leave a cross below the school’s sign on Wednesday.

No charges have been filed against the other student who has been suspended from school. Charges are being considered, but the student will not be charged as an adult.

The case will be heard in family court where factors will be considered, such as the child’s age, level of maturity, and whether the incident was premeditated.

The last time a child died on school grounds in South Carolina was the Townville Elementary School shooting in 2016.

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