Nova Scotia

Choking game went too far, mom says

A woman in Sydney says her 13-year-old son is lucky to be alive after he was placed in a chokehold at school Wednesday.

A woman in Sydney says her 13-year-old son is lucky to be alive after he was placed in a chokehold at school Wednesday.

Laura Giusti says a boy put his arm around her son's neck, causing him to pass out and fall down some stairs at Whitney Pier Memorial Junior High School.

She says her son, David Hawko, doesn't remember much about what happened, but the doctor at the emergency room told her he was probably without oxygen for two minutes.

"Four minutes without oxygen to your brain, you could be a vegetable," Giusti told CBC News on Friday. "The doctor told me when I go home, pray to God and thank God for my son being alive."

Giusti says a girl at the school captured a short video of the incident with her digital camera.

She suspects the boy who put his arm around her son's neck was playing choke out, a game where teens try to cut off one another's air supply.

But Giusti says the game went too far. She wants the boy suspended, but says so far the school refuses to take any action.

The school principal has refused to discuss the matter with CBC News.

An official with the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board will only say the school has dealt with the matter internally, and will post something on its website to warn students about horseplay.

But Giusti says that's not enough, and has taken her complaint and the video to the police.