Two teens in California have been arrested in connection with a classroom brawl with a teacher that was videotaped and widely shared online over the weekend.
Mark Black, a popular teacher and wrestling coach at Santa Monica High School, grappled with one student in the video, grabbing the teen by the thigh as he attempted to take him to the ground.
The school superintendent quickly placed Black on leave, calling the teacher’s use of force “alarming” and “unacceptable.”
But parents and students rallied to Black’s defense, accusing Superintendent Sandra Lyon of prejudging the teacher while failing to address the students’ conduct.
Lyon apologized Saturday to the community after an online petition and Facebook page drew thousands of supporters.
Police announced the arrest Monday of an 18-year-old student and a 16-year-old in connection with the incident.
Investigators recommended the older teen, whose name was not released even though he is an adult, be charged with threatening a school official, battery against a school official, possession of a weapon on a school campus, and possession of marijuana on school grounds.
Authorities said the teen had a box cutter with him during the incident.
They will recommend the younger teen be charged with battery against as school official.
The older teen allegedly brought pot with him to class, and a school board member said Black showed restraint by not injuring the teens.
“It’s a huge controversy when teachers put their hands on students,” said school board member Oscar de la Torre. “From me knowing Mr. Black personally — he was a former teacher of mine — I know him to be a fair person.”
Raw Story is a progressive news site that focuses on stories often ignored in the mainstream media. While giving coverage to the big stories of the day, we also bring our readers' attention to policy, politics, legal and human rights stories that get ignored in an infotainment culture driven solely by pageviews.
Founded in 2004, Raw Story reaches 9 million unique readers per month and serves more than 30 million pageviews.