Mother: "My child's face was just unrecognizable." - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Mother: "My child's face was just unrecognizable."

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – A student at Hoggard High School student is suspended for three days because of his role in a fight on school grounds Friday, but his family says Demario Boykin did his best to defend himself against bullies.

Boykin, who just finished his senior season on the football team, said he was walking across the practice field when two of his younger teammates attacked him.

"I was both shocked and scared, like I had to try to defend myself but I just couldn't do it," he said Monday night.

When it was over, the teenager called his mother. Beverly Boykin said her son sounded distressed, like he was having an asthma attack. When she saw Demario, she knew it was worse.

"My child's face was just unrecognizable," Boykin said.

The mother said law enforcement took photos while DeMario was in the hospital Friday night. Since then his face has healed, but Demario's mother worries about the lasting effects.

"Think about the emotional pain he's going through," she said. "Think about the embarrassment."

Demario said he felt safe when he returned to school Monday, but he will be taking some time off. He said he's suspended for three days for fighting. The two boys who allegedly attacked him received the same punishment, according to his family. Boykin considers it unjust that her son is included in the punishment given to his attackers.

"They didn't have to go to the emergency room," said Boykin. "They didn't have to suffer and go through so much pain."

The Boykin family believes the suffering is almost over. Demario will graduate in June, and his mother wants him to focus on his future. She plans to file charges against the other boys involved.

"I can forgive, but I can't forget," she said.

A spokesperson for New Hanover County Schools would not confirm any punishment against students. Those details are protected by FERPA laws.

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