A 64-year-old music teacher in California was arrested Friday after he was reportedly caught on video repeatedly striking a high school student.
Per KTLA, the incident involved Marston Riley and a 14-year-old student at Maywood Academy High School. Students told the news station that the altercation occurred after Riley asked the teen to leave class because he wasn’t wearing the proper uniform, to which he refused.
Cellphone footage reportedly shot by another student appears to show Riley and the 14-year-old standing at the front of the class when Riley throws a punch. The student is spotted returning some blows before Riley reportedly strikes him, leading him to fall to the floor. A woman, who appears to be a resource officer, attempts to split the pair but the music teacher is seen continuing his assault on the student.
In another video, the 14-year-old student is heard hurling a racial slur at Riley, who is black, after Riley asks him to leave class, according to KTLA. At one point, the teen is seen throwing a basketball at the teacher, leading him to get a cell phone and call for assistance.
Riley, who is facing cruelty against a child charges, was released from jail Saturday after posting $50,000 bail, officials told KNBC. Reports indicated that the student was hospitalized for minor injuries.
Not only did every student who spoke with KTLA place their support behind Riley and claim the teen pushed him to violence, but a GoFundMe made for the teacher is gaining traction. The campaign, created to cover Riley’s legal fees, has garnered $42,000 as of Monday afternoon.
“Everything was already planned out,” an unnamed student said, claiming it was an orchestrated plot to antagonize Riley, who he described as a “good guy.”
“There were students already there taking out their phones to record the incident…I don’t think it’s fair that they’re putting the blame all on him.”
Nevertheless, the Los Angeles Unified School District has denounced the violent incident that transpired last week. It’s currently unclear whether Riley has been suspended or terminated from his teaching job in light of the recorded fight.
“We are extremely disturbed by the reports of the events that occurred at Maywood Academy High School,” district officials said in a statement. “We take this matter very seriously and do not condone violence or intolerance of any kind. Los Angeles Unified is cooperating with law enforcement in investigating this incident.”
[Featured image: KTLA video screengrab]