Mom: Cleveland HS freshman was bullied, defended himself

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Starrlla Huntsman

The mother of a Cleveland High School football freshman says her son was simply defending himself when he got into a locker room fight on Tuesday. Starrlla Huntsman told ABC11 that she's OK with her son protecting himself, but wishes it was handled another way.

A woman, who identifies herself as Julie, is the mother of the senior athlete also involved in the fight. She says her son was hit from behind and knocked to the ground - unconscious for 45 minutes. Her son's injuries landed him in the hospital where he underwent reconstructive surgery. He will be on a liquid-only diet for at least a month.

Huntsman claims her son was bullied. When she picked him up from practice on Tuesday, he confessed everything that happened. "Mom, I didn't have no choice. He just kept bothering me," Starrlla explained on her son's behalf. "He was saying I was going to whoop your A, when (the senior athlete) walked in the locker room. And I'll whoop your A with my drawers on," she said.

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A profanity-laced tweet allegedly sent by the senior football player dated August 28, 2016, which has since been deleted, specifically targets freshmen students.

"Once hands is laid on you, I want you fighting for dear life because I don't know if they're trying to take their life," Maurine Hunter said. Hunter is the freshman's grandmother. "Self-preservation is the first law of nature. You gotta take care of yourself."

Tweet allegedly sent out and later deleted by the Cleveland High School senior.

Huntsman says she took her son to the hospital as well and the doctor commended her son for standing up for himself. "Even the doctor told us that he's glad my son did something. Because had he not, he would have continued to be bullied," she said.

Both Huntsman and Hunter are praying for the senior athlete's recovery. Huntsman is having her son make amends with the older player. "I said son, I need you to write an apology letter," she told ABC11. "Just like his family's hurting, I'm hurting too that it had to be on TV like my son was a monster."

Huntsman and Hunter feel it's fair that both boys are punished since they both fought. "I understand. But like still, I wish it could have been handled another way," Huntsman said.

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