Education

‘Weapons were not involved’ in fight that killed fifth-grade student, SC cops say

Few details have been made public about the death of RaNiya Wright, a fifth-grade student who was severely injured in a classroom fight Monday and later died.

One thing now known is a weapon was not used in the deadly fight at Forest Hills Elementary School, the Washington Post reported.

On Thursday, the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office said “weapons were not involved in this incident,” according to CNN.

A redacted copy of the incident report released Wednesday indicated the other fifth-grade student in the fight was unarmed when sheriff’s deputies arrived at the school, The State reported. Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Shalane Lowes confirmed no weapons were used in the fight, according to WSOC.

After the fight, RaNiya was taken to the Medical University of South Carolina, where she died Wednesday morning, according to the school district.

The Colleton County School Board held a special meeting Thursday to discuss what happened, but it was almost completely in executive session and out of bounds for the public or media, WCSC reported.

When the meeting finished, two prepared statements were read by the board chairman and superintendent, respectively, and were posted on the Colleton County School District website.

The statements did not provide any details about what was discussed in the special meeting.

“Our board and district have received multiple requests for information. Due to the ongoing investigation and student privacy laws, we cannot share specific details at this time,” board Chairman Tim Mabry said, according to WCSC.

That sentiment was echoed in the statement read by Superintendent Dr. Franklin Fuller.

“After the investigation is concluded, we will thoroughly review the findings and address any areas of concern identified through the investigation,” Fuller said in the statement shared by the school district.

An autopsy for the 10-year-old is scheduled for Friday at MUSC, Colleton County Coroner Richard Harvey told McClatchy. RaNiya’s cause of death could be released by the coroner following the examination, and it is possible other details could also be made public.

No charges have been filed, but the fight is being investigated by the sheriff’s office, and the school district said it is “cooperating fully,” on its website. The school district did say the other student in the fight has been suspended.

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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.
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