A 10-year-old girl in South Carolina died Wednesday, two days after being involved in a fight at her Colleton County elementary school.
Coroner Richard Harvey identified the girl as Raniya Wright. Raniya, a fifth-grader, was described as a wonderful student who loved to spend time with friends and play basketball, according to a statement from the Colleton County School District.
“She will be missed greatly by her family, friends, and the entire school community,” the district said. “Our entire school district is saddened by this event. It is very difficult to experience the death of a young person.”
The school district said the fight happened inside a classroom at Forest Hills Elementary School in Walterboro, according to a Facebook post earlier this week. School administrators ended the fight and called EMS, the district said.
Dispatchers received a report of a student who had collapsed at school, according to a Sheriff’s Office incident report. Raniya was in the nurse’s station when EMS arrived, and she was unconscious but breathing, the incident report said.
Raniya was transported to Colleton Medical Center, then later airlifted to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston for treatment.
An autopsy is scheduled for Friday morning, Harvey said.
A student from the school was suspended until an investigation is complete, according to the district.
When asked whether the fight stemmed from a bullying issue, Sean Gruber, communications director for the school district, said he could not comment on the ongoing investigation.
The Colleton County Sheriff’s Office also declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation.
Forest Hills Elementary School is located about an hour from Charleston.
Six school resource officers are assigned to the Colleton County School District, Gruber said. Two of them work full time at the high school and two work full time at the middle school. The other two rotate between five elementary schools and a child development center.
Gruber could not say whether one was present at Forest Hills when the fight occurred, but the incident report from the Sheriff’s Office said a resource officer was on scene when EMS arrived.
South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman said she is in communication with the school district and offering any state assistance needed.
“My heart aches for the student’s parents, peers, and the entire Walterboro community as they grieve the loss of a child who has left us far before their time,” Spearman said in a statement.
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