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Local High Schooler Injured Playing Punching Game

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10 News: A freshman at Serra High School is recovering after a bizarre schoolyard game took a dangerous turn, landing him in the hospital and starting an investigation into what students call "pockets."

injured kid

The 15-year-old was reaching into his jacket pocket to pull out his iPod, when suddenly someone punched him in the chest and ran away. The teen, who asked 10News not to use his name, was knocked unconscious.

"I couldn't breathe," he said. "I blacked out."

The teen landed face first on concrete and was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. When Serra High officials called his mother, they said her son had fainted. Later, she learned he was playing a game called pockets.

"When you put your hands in your pockets, you get punched in the chest," the teen said. He said it was a common game on campus, played by more than half of Serra's male students.

Serra's principal, Michael Jimenez, issued a statement for teachers to read every day this week to their 4th period students. It read: "Students are NOT allowed to play games on campus that result in physical contact of any kind. Play-fighting is strictly prohibited. Any students who are play-fighting will be suspended and possibly recommended for expulsion."

Participating in the popular game of pockets is considered play-fighting and will result in an automatic suspension. Serra students can be expelled for causing physical injury to other students, even if you do not consider it a "real" fight.

San Diego Unified School District police are interviewing witnesses and building a case that could be sent to the district attorney for prosecution.

In the meantime, the teen said, "I don't want to play no more."

Read more stories in the news.

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2 comments so far | Post a comment now
Ken May 4, 2010, 5:25 PM

Frankly, principals who can’t distinguish damaging violence from “physical contact in any form” scare me more than a random punch from a random thug.

But it is a sociopathic disease, not a game - the non-voluntary nature makes this obvious. And the school needs to put an end to it.

And I hate to sound like an old fogey, but what kind of world do you have to grow up in to think this is normal enough to tolerate??? I’ve seen plenty enough fights, but almost always between two people who wanted to fight. Random attacks on bystanders generally ought to get you removed from the general population for at least a few years.

Nay Nay May 5, 2010, 10:02 AM

This is terrible but it is normal things that go on at school among kids because they find it fun. But that kid should be suspended because the child was unaware of him getting hit. And he got knocked unconcious that was serious.

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