Mom of fifth grader Raniya Wright who died after fight said she told school of bullying

The school district has released little information about the fatal classroom fight.
Image: RaNiya Wright, 10, died after an altercation at her South Carolina school on March 27, 2019.
RaNiya Wright, 10, died after an altercation at her South Carolina school on March 27, 2019.Ash Wright / via Facebook

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By Elisha Fieldstadt

The mother of a 10-year-old South Carolina girl who died after she was injured in a school fight said she notified school officials several times that her daughter was being bullied by the other fifth-grade student involved in the fight.

Raniya Wright died March 27, two days after suffering injuries during the fight with her classmate at Forest Hills Elementary School.

“I'm very upset with the school system, starting out, only because of the fact that I've been complaining about the person that she fought numerous times to them," Raniya's mother, Ashley Wright, said in an interview with ABC News' "Good Morning America" that aired Monday.

Wright said Raniya's problems with the other student have been persistent since at least last year.

Raniya told her mom that the other girl made a daily habit of making fun of her nose and her hair, Wright said. But Raniya didn't want her mom to go to the school to address the situation, because she thought the bullying would only get worse if she did.

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So, Wright called the school. "I'd normally call and talk to her teacher about it, and she'll say, 'Well, Raniya never said anything to me about it.' And I'm saying, 'Well, I'm letting you know she comes home to me about it every day,' and I'm leaving it in her hands to do something about it," Wright said.

Wright said she would ask her daughter "'Well, did she talk to you, did you talk to her about what happened? Is she holding a parent conference? Is she supposed to call me?'"

"She said 'No, momma, nothing,'" Wright said, adding that she sensed the problem was getting worse in the weeks before the deadly fight because Raniya was reluctant to go to school.

Mark Peper, who is representing Raniya's father, Jermaine Van Dyke, also said last week that he had learned that "the school was on notice that there were some altercations occurring on a very regular basis between individuals in this specific classroom."

Neither the Colleton County Sheriff's Office nor the Colleton County School District have released much information about the fatal incident.

"I want to find out what happened, how it happened, and who was involved," Van Dyke said April 1.

Ashley Wright said she's also waiting for answers.

In their most recent statement about the fight, released Wednesday, the Colleton County School District said school officials "do not want to release any information that could jeopardize the continuing investigation," but a full report would be released when the probe was complete.

"Now is the time for our community to mourn the loss of a child," the statement said. "The facts of this tragedy will become clearer in the weeks ahead."