Should Teachers Break Up School Fights?

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New attention is being brought to classroom fights after a fifth-grader died earlier this week. 

RaNiya Wright, 10, was unconscious but breathing when authorities arrived at Forest Hills Elementary School in Walterboro, South Carolina, on Monday. However, she died from her injuries two days later. 

Questions are being raised about breaking up school fights in the wake of RaNiya's death, which her mother, Ashley Wright, suggested was the result of bullying

"Stay woke PARENTS,” Wright said on Facebook, according to People.

But some teachers say their hands are tied when it comes to stopping fights between students. 

"There are those school districts across the country that have firm, consistent, written policies that say, 'You will not intervene,'" said Ken Trump, president of the National School Safety and Security Services. "There are others where it's less clear."

Why would such rules exist? Schools are concerned that teachers could be injured in trying to break up a fight between students and then file for workers' compensation or end up suing the school district. 

"There could be lawsuits for intervening, there could be lawsuits for not intervening," said . It's going to depend on the facts of the case."

School officials have not confirmed that RaNiya was bullied and the exact cause of her death has not been revealed. After a meeting of the school board, angry parents protested the lack of answers. 

South Carolina Rep. Justin Bamberg said he was baffled.

“How in the hell does this happen in an elementary school?” Bamberg said, according to the Post and Courier. “When a little girl dies after a fight, it really makes you question what type of leadership is going on there and what are the adults doing.”

The other student involved in the fight has been suspended from school indefinitely. 

GoFundMe campaign to help with funeral costs has raised more than $50,000.


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