The mother of a 10-year-old girl who died after a fight in her South Carolina elementary school spoke out Monday morning in an attempt to clear up the circumstances surrounding her daughter’s death. RaNiya Wright‘s mother appeared on “Good Morning America” Monday morning in her first interview since her daughter died from injuries she sustained last month in a fight at Forest Hills Elementary School in the town of Walterboro.
Ashley Wright claimed on the morning news show that the school all but ignored reports that her daughter was being bullied.
“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,” Wright said. “I’m thinking they got it handled, and they failed me.”
RaNiya had to be airlifted from school to the Medical University of South Carolina, where she died two days later. An autopsy was performed and officials said results may not be available for several weeks. The Colleton County School District has been tight-lipped about the details in the case, especially when it comes to the other student involved, but Wright said the girl was “picking on” her daughter.
“I notified the school and I also spoke with her teacher at the time about this same person,” she said. “She would just always come home saying this one girl picking on her.”
Wright went on to say that though she was hoping to leave the matter in the hands of school officials, RaNiya would come home without her teachers having brought up the issue. Wright also said that her daughter had been dealing with the same bully since the fourth grade.
Reflecting on the weeks leading up to that day, Wright said her daughter expressed not wanting to go to school after having been bullied by the girl about her nose and hair. And though no details were released about what happened in that classroom, Wright said she was told by classmates what they saw happen on the day RaNiya never made it home from school, including how the girl kept wanting to fight RaNiya throughout the day.
“They were in the class,” Wright said. “The girl came up behind her and was hitting her all in the head. How long, I don’t know. She pushed her or rammed her head or something into the bookshelf.”
Wright received the call from the nurse that her daughter was complaining of having a headache and dizziness after having an “accident.” She claimed she was not called when RaNiya’s condition worsened and arrived at the hospital to find her daughter unconscious and attached to medical machines.
“I had to sleep by my baby the night before she passed, and that was the hardest thing I ever had to do in my life,” she said. “It’s just hard.”At the end of the day, Wright said she just wanted her daughter to be protected in her absence.
“My frustration is really towards the school system because I sent my child to school feeling like she can be protected while she’s not in my care anymore,” Wright said.
RaNiya was laid to rest on Wednesday in Walterboro with a horse and carriage escort. Dozens of mourners attended to celebrate a life gone too soon.