Marston Riley, 64, is facing child abuse allegations after he was caught on camera being involved in a physical altercation with a 14-year-old student. Riley is a high school music teacher at Maywood Academy High School in Los Angeles, California. According to People, Riley was recently caught on video punching a 14-year-old student who used a racial slur towards him in his classroom. The cellphone video, which was shot by a student in the class, shows Riley repeatedly striking the boy and ending up on the ground grasping his leg.
Students told police that Riley had addressed the 14-year-old male for not wearing the proper uniform. The student responded with a slew of racial slurs directed at Riley, who is black. The video shows the teacher at first standing calmly and requesting the student to leave his classroom. The boy did not oblige and continued his insults before eventually throwing a basketball at the teacher. The brawl escalated from there and the two engaged in a physical fight before they are broken up by a woman wearing a safety vest.
The student was not seriously injured, but was taken to a hospital where he was treated and released, according to the sheriff's department. https://t.co/xAfwzOmBnz— NBC Los Angeles (@NBCLA) November 3, 2018
Riley was suspended from his teaching position and arrested for suspected child abuse following the incident. He was kept in jail overnight before being released on $50,000 bail. His arraignment is scheduled for November 30. Meanwhile, the student was taken to the hospital to be treated for moderate injuries.
The Los Angeles Unified School District released a statement regarding the incident. “We are extremely disturbed by the reports of the events that occurred at Maywood Academy High School,” the statement read. “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.”
Although the general consensus is that Riley should have kept his composure and not resorted to violence during the incident, many students are standing by their teacher. A large group of high school students and other members of the community stood out in front of the school holding signs in support of Riley who they believe has been treated unjustly.
Cecilia Diaz Jimenez, who claims she was a former employee at the school, has started a GoFundMe page for Riley. “We all may have mixed feelings about what happened. But please do know that this is not the first time that Mr. Riley is attacked; physically or verbally. He is a great person and a great teacher,” she wrote on the page. The page has already raised over $90,000 in support of Riley.