Father of South Carolina fifth-grader Raniya Wright, who died after school fight, seeks answers – NBC News
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By Elisha Fieldstadt
The father of a South Carolina fifth-grade girl who died after suffering injuries during a classroom fight said Monday that he’s gotten almost no information about the deadly incident from school officials or police.
“I’m here today looking for justice for my daughter,” said Jermaine Van Dyke, the father of Raniya Wright, 10, who died Wednesday.
“I want to find out what happened, how it happened, and who was involved,” Van Dyke said.
Van Dyke’s attorneys said he met with the superintendent of Forest Hills Elementary School, where the fight happened on March 25. But school officials haven’t disclosed any information about what led to the fight or who was involved. The attorneys said Van Dyke also hasn’t heard from police or the solicitor’s office.
They said they had spoken with a lawyer for the school, but he didn’t have any information to share either.
“We simply want to know what has happened, where do we stand in the investigation and what information can be provided to Mr. Van Dyke so that he can find out more as to what exactly happened to lead to the death of his daughter,” said David Aylor, one of the father’s attorneys.
Van Dyke’s other lawyer, Mark Peper, said they have spoken with the teacher who was in the classroom last Monday, and parents who have children at Forest Hills. They relayed that “the school was on notice that there were some altercations occurring on a very regular basis between individuals in this specific classroom,” Peper said.
The Colleton County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident. The other fifth-grader involved in the fatal fight has been suspended from school, according to the Colleton County School District.
Raniya’s cause of death still has not been made public.
Attorneys for her mother, Ashley Wright, also said in a statement Friday that the family is looking for information from the school district.
“They are awaiting answers to questions regarding the circumstances surrounding Raniya’s tragic death including was there appropriate supervision in the classroom, and what, if any, steps did school administrators take to intervene in the fight,” the statement said.
Raniya’s funeral will be held Wednesday.