5th-grader laid to rest; Family, friends and community celebrate her life

State - Regional

WALTERBORO, SC (WCBD) – The Forest Hills Elementary Fifth-grade student who died after what authorities are calling a school fight was laid to rest Wednesday. 

Hundreds of people gathered at Saints Center Ministries in Walterboro to honor and celebrate the life of Raniya Wright.

Wednesday marks exactly one week since the 10-year-old died after what authorities called a school fight at Forest Hills Elementary. Although several questions are still waiting to be answered, a beautiful celebration of life still took place. 

Surrounded by friends and family, Raniya’s casket arrived in a horse and carriage. It was dressed in white flowers and carried by loved ones. No cameras were allowed in the service Wednesday, but Count on 2’s Deanne Roberts did attend. It was standing room only with many people standing against the walls of the sanctuary and people standing in the foyer and side rooms. During the three hour service, scriptures, prayers, songs, tributes and the eulogy were given in remembrance of Raniya. 

“She was such a wonderful and sweet little person,” said celebration attendee Apostle Levon Smalls. 

Smalls said he traveled from Charleston to attend, despite rumors and speculation. He said he wanted to focus on what was important, that being Raniya.

“I drove from Charleston to here because I feel as though we needed to represent not only in Walterboro, but in Charleston, that something of this sort was kind of senseless and we just need to get to the bottom of it, so I wanted to know more about her life and more about her,” Smalls said. 

Count on 2’s Deanne Roberts spoke to one of RaNiya’s cousins who also attends Forest Hills Elementary. Deana Davis said that Raniya was more than just family, she was a friend, a classmate, and a school bus buddy.  

“Me and Raniya ride the same bus, we go to the same school every day,” Davis said. “Every morning she gets off the bus before me, we walk to Mrs. Price’s room together and we walk to class together.”

Davis told us what she will miss the most about RaNiya.

“Us walking into Mrs. Price’s class together; She talks to me and likes to play with my brother and my cousin,” she said.

The Celebration of Life lasted for a little over three hours. Those attending said it was a wonderful service. Wright was buried at a nearby cemetery. 


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