Richmond teen says he was choked unconscious in class: ‘I woke up with a lot of blood on the floor’

RICHMOND, Va. -- A Richmond teen is recovering after he said he was choked unconscious by a fellow classmate.

Felix said a 16-year-old student came up behind him in math class and put him in a choke hold.

"I just fell out on my face,” Felix said.

Brandi Gordon, Felix's mother, said a teacher’s aide did not notice what was happening until Felix lost consciousness. She described to the CBS 6 Problem Solvers the conversation she had with the aide following the incident.

"She seen my son limp and the boy's arms in the choke hold and she screamed across the room for him to release him,” Gordon said. “She said he just opened up his arms to release him and smacked his face on the floor immediately blood started coming out.”

Felix’s teeth punctured a hole through his bottom lip.

“My two top teeth was chipped and they went through my bottom lip,” Felix said. “I never knew I had a hole in my bottom lip, but I cleaned it up at the nurse and lifted my lip up and that’s when blood just start coming down and I just started crying.”

Felix said he was rushed by ambulance to Chippenham Hospital where he received seven stitches.

Gordon said her son, who has ADHD and an intellectual disability, was in self-contained classrooms.

“Self-contained classes consist of six to seven kids, eight kids the most, less than 10 with two teachers in the classroom,” Gordon explained. “It should be no reason why any of those kids should be into a fight, argument, or anything without the teacher being able to see it break it up or diffuse the situation."

That, Gordon said, was the hardest part of comprehend.

"You’re in the classroom with two teachers and no-one was really there to save you, to help you,” said Gordon. “It’s ridiculous that you didn’t know he was being choked out in front of you.”

Gordon said she was not satisfied with the communication in the weeks following the incident.

“I was the only one reaching out no one was calling me, I thought they were brushing it under the rug, so I had to email you guys to get some results,” said Gordon.

When CBS 6 Problem Solvers reached out to Richmond Public Schools, a spokesperson provided the following statement:

“The safety and well-being of our students is always a top priority. The school’s administration team has been in contact with the family. We will continue to work with them, and all of our families, to ensure that students feel safe and loved in their school communities.”

Gordon said she has pressed criminal charges against the student through Huguenot High School's school resource officer.

Felix returned to school two weeks after the incident, despite being ‘nervous and scared.’ He said he had a good first day back.

Gordon said she’s been assured changes have been made to prevent this from happening again.

“I’ve been told the desks have been moved around in the class, so that both desks can see every part of the room and all the kids,” said Gordon. “I was told they got some new books to read over since the situation happened.”

Watch Laura French's Problem Solvers Investigation tonight on CBS 6 News at 11.

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