RaNiya Wright’s father ‘looking for justice’ after the 10yr dies following classroom fight

Updated: Apr. 1, 2019 at 10:21 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - It’s been seven days since a fight at Forest Hills Elementary sent 10-year-old RaNiya Wright to the hospital where she would pass away two days later. This morning, RaNiya’s father said the family still doesn’t have answers.

“I wanted just to find out what happened, how it happened, and who was involved,” said RaNiya’s dad Jermaine Van Dyke. “I’m here today looking for justice for my daughter.”

So what has the district told RaNiya’s family in regards to that fight?

“Nothing,” said Mark Peper, Van Dyke’s attorney. “Absolutely nothing. We’ve been extremely disappointed. We’ve made multiple attempts to contact both law enforcement and the school district. We heard late Friday evening from the attorney for the school district who was brought on board, unfortunately, he didn’t have many answers.”

Rumors of bullying have swirled since the fight, but the Colleton County School district hasn’t commented on those claims publicly. Van Dyke’s attorney says in RaNiya’s classroom, there’s a record of multiple issues.

“Some may reference it as bullying,” he said. “I’m a little hesitant to label it as that at this point in time. But again, it would be fair to say that the school was on notice that there were altercations occurring on a very regular basis between individuals in this specific classroom.”

We left a message with the school district for comment on these claims, but haven’t received a response.

“How and why,” Peper asked. “How and why? I think Ms. Wright and Mr. Van Dyke deserve those answers.”

RaNiya’s mother and father have secured separate legal teams for this case, but Van Dyke’s attorney wanted to make it clear that they’re operating as a unified front, and that the legal teams are in constant communication.

A “Celebration of Life” will be held for RaNiya at noon this Wednesday at Saints Center Ministries in Walterboro.

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