The mother of a 10-year-old South Carolina girl who died two days after she was attacked by a classmate at her elementary school is speaking out, saying that she complained about the little girl being bullied several times.
“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,” Ashley Wright, the mother of Forest Hills Elementary School student Raniya Wright, told Good Morning America in an exclusive interview. “That’s what really breaks me down and makes me question to myself why nothing was never done up until now with this happening.”
The fight occurred on March 25 in a fifth-grade classroom at Forest Hills. Raniya was unconscious in the nurse’s station when authorities responded at the school.
Her mother shared updates about her daughter on Facebook, including one particular image of Raniya with her face obscured behind various hospital equipment.
Two days later, she shared the heartbreaking news that her daughter had died.
A student was suspended after the incident, with the school saying it plans to release more information once the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office finishes its investigation.
Wright insisted that her daughter was a victim of bullying—something she mentioned in her earlier Facebook posts—but authorities have yet to confirm that.
Still, the grieving mother says she reported the issue to the school and spoke with Raniya’s teacher about the issues the 10-year-old was having with her classmate.
“I’ve been having problems with her since fourth grade,” Wright said of the other student involved in the altercation. “I can’t speak about third, because I’m not sure, but I’ve been hearing her name before she got in the fifth grade.”
Wright said that her own mother, who sees the children off to school while Wright works, told her that Raniya had been asking to stay home from school more.
“My momma said that she did not want to go to school. She told me later on that day, when I was on lunch before the school called, that she didn’t want to go to school,” Wright added. “And the last couple of weeks she’s been feeling like that. When I say, ‘You got a half a day tomorrow.’ She’ll be like, ‘Yes, can I just stay home?’ She did not want to go to school these last couple of weeks. … I felt like the situation at school was getting worse.”
Raniya had told her family that the girl was making fun of her because of her nose and saying that her hairstyles were “for little girls.” Wright offered to intervene on her daughter’s behalf, but Raniya was afraid that the situation would escalate further. So the mother did the next best thing and 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. “So when Raniya gets home. I’m like, ‘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.'”
“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,” she added.