Raniya White was just 10-years-old and full of life. The fifth grader was involved in an altercation at Forest Hills Elementary School in Walterboro, South Carolina, on March 25. The incident, which was later called a “short slap-fight” involved Raniya and several of her elementary school classmates. Following the fight, the little girl collapsed. Only two days later, she died.
Following the incident, her family demanded answers and believed that Raniya died as the result of bullying. However, state officials are now stating that wasn’t what happened, according to The New York Times.
After her collapse, Raniya lay in a hospital bed fighting for her life. Her mother, Ashley White, posted a photo of herself kissing her daughter as she lay connected to tubes and life saving equipment. The girl is pictured wearing a head brace and appears to be unresponsive. Ashley pleaded for ongoing prayers and stated that bullying was the cause of her daughter’s life-threatening state.
She issued a warning to parents encouraging them to be vigilant in protecting their children, stating, “Stay woke parents.”
South Carolina fifth-grader Raniya Wright, who died last month after a fight at her elementary school, died of a blood-vessel rupture in the brain stemming from a birth defect, and there's no evidence the fight contributed to her death, a prosecutor said https://t.co/EXbDmyIS5b pic.twitter.com/0my9a7DQug
— CNN (@CNN) April 19, 2019
However, health officials are now saying that bullying wasn’t the direct cause of the little girl’s death. They claim that Raniya had a ruptured blood vessel in the brain that her family was unaware of. For two years prior to her death, she had complained of symptoms including headaches and dizziness. These could have been signs of underlying internal issues.
Duffie Stone, a county prosecutor, stated that he will not be filing criminal charges against anyone who was involved in the fight before Raniya’s death.
“There was no sign that the fight contributed to her death. There was no evidence of trauma on or inside the body. There were no bruises, no cuts, no scrapes, no busted lips, no black eyes.”
Her family, however, is not convinced and are not pleased with the direction in which the medical report went. Raniya’s grandfather, Ernest Wright, described the family’s disappointment regarding the news and their ongoing belief that she died as a result of bullying.
“For three weeks, we were waiting, this is what we get, a cover-up. Natural causes did not trigger my granddaughter to die.”
The child’s mother stated that Raniya was harassed on a regular basis by the same girl since she was in the third grade. She wants justice to be done in order to prevent what happened to her daughter from happening to another child.
“What’s going to be done about it? Whose child is going to be next with this same girl?”