A California teacher was arrested for punching a 14-year-old student last week – and now his colleagues are defending him because the teen called him the N-word before the attack, according to reports.
As of Monday, a GoFundMe page created by a woman working in the same Los Angeles district as 64-year-old Maywood Academy High School teacher Marston Riley, reached just over half the $50,000 goal.
Police held Riley overnight at the Los Angeles County Jail on Friday on suspicion of child abuse. They released him on Saturday after he posted $50,000 bail, CBS Los Angeles reported. He was scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 30, authorities said.
Cellphone video of the incident shows Riley standing face to face with the student at the front of the class before throwing a punch at him. The student even punches Riley in retaliation, according to the footage – which also shows Riley repeatedly punching the student until he ends up on the classroom floor.
Even as a female campus officer appears to intervene, Riley continues to pummel the student.
The teen, who has not been publicly identified, was treated for mild to moderate injuries at a local hospital and later released, according to a statement from the Los Angeles County Sherriff’s Office.
Students told KTLA the fight began when Riley asked the student to leave the classroom because he wasn’t wearing a proper uniform. The boy refused. One student began recording the spat and captured the teen hurling racial slurs at Riley, who is black.
“It was just back and forth, back and forth, and then the teacher just decided to throw a punch and that’s when everything happened,” one student told CBS.
Some students, parents, and teachers defended Riley on social media – blaming instead the student for using racial slurs against him.
“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,” reads a description on the fundraising page.
“He was a really nice teacher, I always respected him. He always had a really good relationship with every student,” a student told KTLA.
Still, other parents were left disturbed over the ordeal.
“Just the fact that he’s hitting a child — it’s not right,” one mom told NBC.
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