California Teacher Arrested After Punching Student in Class

By RJ Johnson - @rickerthewriter

November 5, 2018

A California high school music teacher caught hitting a 14-year-old student on video Friday has been arrested, authorities said.

Marston Riley, 64, was arrested on charges of suspicion of child abuse and causing great bodily injury on a child after the fist fight at Maywood Academy High School in Maywood, California was caught on camera. 

According to witness accounts, the confrontation began after Riley asked the 14-year-old to leave the classroom because he hadn't come to class wearing the proper uniform. The student allegedly refuses, with cellphone video showing the student cursing at the teacher and repeatedly calling Riley a racial slur, who is black. 

Riley begins to pull out a cellphone to call for backup when the student throws a basketball at him. The student can be heard insulting and provoking Riley. For a few minutes, the teacher holds back, but eventually punches the boy in the face without any warning. 

The fight lasts about 30 seconds as the two tumble around the classroom. Riley can be seen fighting with the student, repeatedly landing blows as other students shout in protest. 

The boy is only able to punch back once. 

At one point a campus resource officer comes to help break up the fight, even as Riley continues to pursue him. 

Students told KTLA that they were sympathetic for the teacher as they felt the student had pushed him to the brink. 

"We are extremely disturbed by the reports of the events that occurred at Maywood Academy High School," the Los Angeles Unified School District 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. Crisis counselors and additional School Police patrols will be at the school on Monday to support our students and staff."

Riley was arrested around 2:30 p.m. on Friday and posted bail on Saturday. He has an arraignment hearing scheduled for November 30. 

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