A South Carolina senator revealed new details in the case of a 5th grader who died last month from injuries sustained during a classroom fight.
Raniya Wright, 10, was involved in a classroom dispute with another student and grabbed her head complaining of pain on her way to the principal's office. She fell unconscious and was taken to a hospital, where she died two days later.
Sen. Margie Bright Matthews (D-Walterboro) offered an update in the case after she claimed to have spoken with the families of both girls involved in the scuffle and officials from the Forest Hills Elementary School. She also spoke with law enforcement.
According to The Post and Courier, Bright Matthews said, "I've heard a lot of people say, 'Oh, they were kicking her. They ganged her.' None of that. That's so far from the truth - not even the banging of [her] head. The head was not even an issue."
The senator said Raniya and another student engaged in "pushing back and forth" before lunch. An assistant principal escorted both children to the principal's office. "It was all over in a matter of minutes, not even a minute. They seemed to be OK when they left the classroom, both girls."
Bright Matthews claims Raniya "grabbed her head, then she was taken to the nurse's office, which is steps away. Then she became nauseous, vomited, and by the time she was taken to the hospital she was unresponsive and medevaced to MUSC [Medical University Hospital].”
While she expressed great sadness over the tragedy, Bright Matthews suggested the school district decrease classroom size to help monitor the students better. "These kids were bunched up. The desks are all bunched together, with not even a lot of room to walk in the class. There should not be one teacher trying to supervise 25 kids."
Attorneys for Raniya's mother called recent comments from the senator "disheartening and deeply regrettable."
In a statement to the local Charleston newspaper, the attorney said, "Every official investigating this incident from the Colleton County Sheriff's [Office] to the 14th Circuit Solicitor's Office to the Colleton County Coroner has stated that this is an ongoing investigation that would likely take weeks to complete."