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Fifth-grader killed in classroom fight draws attention to increase in school violence

During the 2017-18 school year, there were nearly 800 cases of simple assault, disorderly conduct and aggravated assault reported by CMPD at primary and secondary schools and on school buses.

COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. — Families are heartbroken across the Carolinas after a fifth-grader was killed in a classroom fight. Raniya Wright was only 10. 

Doctors say she died Wednesday morning. Officials say Raniya was involved in a fight with another fifth-grader at Forest Hills Elementary in Walterboro, South Carolina.

RELATED: SC girl injured in classroom fight dies from her injuries, officials confirm

"It was a very very devastating unfortunate incident," said William Bowman, a school board member with the Colleton County School District.

School officials have suspended one student until the investigation is over. The cause of the fight is not clear at this point, but it's leading parents to question how it escalated so quickly.

"Where are the adults?" asked a Charleston parent. "Where are the administrators while all of this is going on?"

NBC Charlotte looked into similar scuffles and pulled stats from the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department. 

During the 2017-18 school year, there were nearly 800 cases of simple assault, disorderly conduct and aggravated assault reported by CMPD at primary and secondary schools and on school buses.

53 of those are specifically disorderly conduct, which includes fighting, according to CMPD data. 633 are just simple assault in school, but not on a school bus.

"This is by far the most tragic event that we've had," Bowman said.

In Colleton County, a community is coping with the loss of a little girl who had her whole life ahead of her.

"Our prayers are with the Wright family, the Colleton County School District, faculty, everyone involved and the community as a whole," said Shalane Lowes, a spokesperson for the Colleton County Sheriff's Office. 

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