COLLETON COUNTY, SC (FOX Carolina) The Colleton County School Board's Tuesday night meeting saw a larger crowd than their typical sessions after it was announced they would dedicate several minutes to public comment.
Community members attended the meeting in hopes of having an opportunity to discuss the tragic death of elementary school student Raniya Wright, who passed away in March.
Investigators say she was hurt in a fight at Forest Hills Elementary School in Walterboro. She passed away two days later.
According to the district's schedule, they allotted thirty minutes of public comment prior to, and immediately following, their general session.
The school provided an opening statement before the discussion opened:
“The sudden death of Raniya Wright on Wednesday, March 27 was a tragedy that has rocked this school and our district. our hearts go out to the Wright family. The loss of a child is devastating. We have spent the past three weeks grieving together and mourning her passing. We realize and appreciate the people wanted to know exactly what happened in that classroom and the incident at Forest Hills Elementary School on March 25, and whether that altercation contributed at all to her death two days later. The final investigative report has not been released by the solicitors office or the Colleton County sheriff’s office. We as the public to reserve judgment until that report is released. The results should be a available soon. Transparency and open communication are shared goals in our schools and community. We could not in good conscious publicly comment until we have an accurate account of exactly what happened in the classroom.
It is important for our school district to make sure that a thorough investigation of the Colleton County, relying on all the facts available, is concluded before we issue any formal statement. We should all be patient and not base our opinions on hearsay, rumors and speculation that has led people to jump to conclusions about what actually happened. As we learn more about this tragic incident, we will release everything we can to the public. Until that time, we encourage parents, students, news media, Colleton County school district staff and the community to be patient and understanding.“
During the first thirty minutes, several people spoke about Raniya - one of whom wanted to address bullying.
"I want to discuss the problem with bullying in the schools," JD Davis said. "You need to check the teachers and staff because that's where it begins."
During an executive session at the end of the meeting, the district says they will be discussing Raniya's death.
Our own Brookley Cromer was able to get an interview with Raniya's grandfather, and let him share his thoughts:
Loved ones gathered Wednesday to say goodbye to a ten-year-old girl who died after a fight at her elementary school.