Marston Riley lost his cool and his job after he was arrested for punching a student in his music class who assaulted him with a barrage of n-word laced insults. Students both former and current are defending the Southern California instructor and a GoFundMe has been established to support his legal costs.
Buzzfeed News exclusively reports:
Marston Riley, who teaches at Maywood Academy, an alternative high school in Los Angeles, was standing in front of his band class Friday afternoon when he and a student got into an argument because the teen was not wearing his uniform, classmates and witnesses have said online and to local media.
The 64-year-old teacher, who is black, told the 14-year-old to leave the classroom, prompting the student to hurl a slew of insults, curse words, and racist comments at Riley. Students captured the incident on their cellphones and the footage quickly went viral.
In the video, sounds of horns quickly fall silent after the teen refuses to leave and calls the instructor the n-word several times. Riley then walks to stand near the student silently as the student continues to go off, saying what sounds like, “What’s up, bro? You see me? I’m right here, nigger.” The video then shows the teen throwing a basketball at the teacher.
After asking the student to leave again, Riley suddenly decks the teen and the two get into a brawl as other students pop up from their seats and scramble to get out of the way. A woman wearing a neon vest appears in the video and tries to intervene.
The outlet reports that Riley posted $50,000 bail after getting an arraignment court date on suspicion of child abuse.
Students have rallied around Riley and saying that the student provoked him, adding to a string of incidents where others have done the same in time’s past. There is also a #JusticeForRiley hashtag that’s cropped up in support of the teacher.
Riley is due in court on Nov. 30.