Was a student trying to get high at Santa Monica High, which then turned into wrestlemania?
A Santa Monica (Cal.) high school teacher and a student got into a wrestling match inside the classroom on Friday morning, and the brawl was captured on cellphone video. Fortunately, no one was injured in the teacher-student violent confrontation which reportedly may have been drug related.
The teacher, Mark Black who both teaches science and also happens to be the wrestling coach at Santa Monica High, is now on leave pending an investigation.
Santa Monica is a wealthy enclave in the Los Angeles area.
In a letter to parents about the fight, the school superintendent wrote that "deeply disturbing incident involving a teacher and student occurred in a classroom at Santa Monica High School, resulting in the Santa Monica Police Department being called to the campus. A number of videos capturing at least a portion of the incident are circulating, and I can tell you that what I witnessed on one of those videos is utterly alarming... Based on what I have viewed, the kind of physical restraint used by the teacher is unacceptable. I have placed the teacher on leave pending the outcome of an independent investigation..."
According to one student who claimed to have witnessed the incident, "The little boy was selling drugs in class. The wrestling coach told him to stop... I guess he didn't listen and tables were thrown. They started fighting." One media account suggests that the fight started when the teacher tried to confiscate a bag of marijuana.
Another witness insisted that "I believe the teacher is being wrongly accused of being aggressive to the student. He was just acting in self-defense. The teacher saw the student doing something drug-related. The teacher tried to confiscate it from the student and the student fought back and it got out of control from there."
A Santa Monica police investigation into the classroom brawl is apparently also ongoing. There has been no indication from the school district as to what discipline, if any, will be imposed on the student.
[image credit: Joe Wolf]