Santa Monica High School was the location for an unexpected wrestling match between a teacher and a student on Friday. While an investigation will be going underway, there is quite a bit of information floating around about what truly happened in the classroom that day.
The well-liked wrestling coach and science teacher, Mark Black, was caught on video via a student's cell phone trying to take down one of his students in the classroom. The video was later broadcast by KTLA-TV. Students, who were eyewitnesses, claim that the student was trying to sell drugs as reported by LATimes.com. As seen in the video, this was not a typical fight, but it is evident that Coach Black is simply trying to get the student off balance and restrained. There were no sucker punches, elbowing, smack downs, or knees to the groin.
In fact, LATimes.com reports that many students claim Coach Black was simply defending himself after having asked the student to hand over the drugs and the student became aggressive. So aggressive that IJReview.com shares that the student began stabbing at Coach Black multiple times with a pencil.
Superintendent Sandra Lyon, as reported by TheBlaze.com has suspended Coach Black until an investigation is completed. She sent a letter home to parents stating, "I can tell you that what I witnessed on one of those videos is utterly alarming," further noting that she will "gather all the facts and make sure the proper actions are taken."
According to CTC.ca.gov, in California for a teacher, "suspension is the temporary inactivation of a credential for a specified period. If a suspension is imposed, the credential holder may not work in a position requiring a credential during the period of the suspension." This has angered many students and teachers who have a high level of respect for Coach Black.
LATimes.com reported that a "We Support Coach Black" Facebook page was created and had thousands of likes in a short amount of time. Parents, teachers, students and the community seem to be supporting Coach Black and say that he is being wrongfully accused and that Coach Black is the one who needs the support, not the student. This stems from the letter sent out by superintendent Lyon who obviously was accusatory to Coach Black and sympathetic toward the student.
Steve Martinez, a former Santa Monica-Malibu District administrator, posted on the Facebook page,"He did in fact try to resolve this situation peacefully by asking the student to turn over the drugs to him. The student resisted and became aggressive … Support this great teacher and wonderful person. He needs us at this time," per LATimes.com.
Another former student of Coach Black wrote a touching tribute to which he stated that after his father died, Coach Black became like a second father to him. He continues to remind everyone how Coach Black has helped many kids by keeping them off the streets and getting them into college.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out, and to see how the American public views the actions of Coach Black. Feel Free to comment if you feel Coach Black did the right thing, or could have handled himself differently. Although, it is hard to sit back and be attacked. A little respect for teachers would go a long way.
Video Credit: KTLA-TV