A teacher from Maywood Academy High School in Los Angeles, California, is in deep trouble after video captured on Friday, November 2, shows him coming to blows with a student over a disagreement over the dress code.
The music teacher, identified as Marston Riley, 64, is shown arguing with a 14-year-old boy at the front of the classroom. When the student hurls insults and racial slurs, Riley throws a punch and continues to beat the student.
Riley continued to beat the student in front of a class full of students even as a security officer entered the room to try and stop the conflict. At one point, he repeatedly smashed what appears to be his phone into the 14-year-old’s head while holding him so he couldn’t get away. The security officer made attempts to separate the two, but Riley continued to pursue the boy.
I'm not rolling, Marston Riley was in the wrong for hitting the student first. The kid was not a threat. He should've remained calm and waited for security. Now if the kid was swinging off at him, then yea put his ass down but that wasn't this
— NoFockz (@NoFockzGiven) November 4, 2018
Riley was arrested and has been charged with child abuse, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, though he was released on bond this past Saturday, November 3. The unnamed 14-year-old boy was taken to a local hospital, treated for “moderate injuries,” and later released.
On Twitter, many stand behind Riley, saying his beating of the 14-year-old student was justified:
If you think #MarstonRiley was in the wrong, then I can’t fw you. Teachers are people too. They have feelings and they shouldn’t have to put up with disrespectful, uneducated students lashing out on them. Parents need to teach their children some damn respect
— shelby (@shelbyeallen) November 4, 2018
#MarstonRiley is there a GoFund me page going for this gentleman? I would definitely donate to his defense fund. If your going to square up like a man, learn how to take an Ass kicking like man. Pretty sure dad forgot to teach him that.
— JAG (@cpdusmc65) November 3, 2018
watch the video. the kid needed his ass beat lmao. free marston riley https://t.co/213dpabk6y
— karli b. (@KTXZB) November 3, 2018
Who gives a fuck that it was a student? He was threatening & kept calling him the N word.
— Move Forward (@ThinkDoProgress) November 4, 2018
Others, however, seemed to agree that Riley should be charged with major criminal offenses, no matter what the student had done.
As a parent I am horrified! As a parent I am also concerned about how this young man is being raised. Teacher should be fired and jailed for assault. This child though… seems like he needs life help. I dunno. #Dont@me
— Chuck Vaughan (@WhoButChuck) November 4, 2018
Viewed all of this, that's one teacher whom won't be back.
No matter what some of today's little b's say these days you have to maintain your control as the adult.
— MIKETHEFAN1 (@MIKETHEFAN12) November 4, 2018
Sticks and stones may break are bones but……… And the teacher threw the first punch.
— New Era @theRalph (@nleaclark) November 6, 2018
As a teacher myself I don’t agree with his actions. The teacher could have easily called the schools police or security officer after walking away from him. In that situation it’s best to walk away from the student.
— Coach Arnold (@rod_the_shooter) November 4, 2018
Can’t co-sign on teacher’s actions. As teachers, we have responsibility to de-escalate by calling for student’s removal. Could have ended w/ student getting suspended for his behavior. Instead, teacher crossed line, arrested, will lose job, etc…as he should. Don’t see race here
— Dedicate My VOTE (@dedicatemyvote) November 4, 2018
The Los Angeles Unified School District released a statement, saying:
“We are extremely disturbed by the reports of the events that occurred at Maywood Academy High School. 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’s arraignment is scheduled for November 30, at which point he will be formally charged and expected to enter a plea. It seems unlikely, given the video evidence now widely available on the internet, he will deny the claims against him.