MAYWOOD (CBSLA) — Crisis counselors and extra security will greet students at Maywood Academy High School Monday morning, after a weekend of outrage over a music teacher who was arrested for fighting with a student.
Marston Riley, who was arrested and charged with child abuse, appeared Sunday in a 17-second video attached to a GoFundMe page, speaking publicly for the first time since Friday’s brawl.
“I want to thank you for supporting me,” Riley, seen sitting in a recliner, said in a quiet voice. “You are a blessing.”
The fundraising page surpassed its $50,000 goal in two days.
The fight between Riley and the 14-year-old student erupted over the teen being reprimanded for not wearing the proper school uniform. Cell phone video recorded by other students in the class captured the teen throwing a basketball at Riley before going on a racist tirade.
“That’s really disrespectful. It’s a teacher, so that’s not OK, you know,” Maywood resident Jenni Chavez said. “But however, it’s still not OK for the teacher to have punched a student either.”
“He really respects his students and he cares about his students a lot,” one student told CBS2/KCAL9’s Dave Lopez.
Maywood Academy Faculty released the following statement: “Many Americans saw for the first time the deterioration of respect for teachers … We have created an environment where disrespect, bullying and intolerance can thrive.”
Faculty also asked the D.A. not to press charges against Riley, who is suspended without pay until further notice.
The Los Angeles Unified School District says it is cooperating with law enforcement’s investigation into the incident, but has not said whether Riley has been placed on leave.
Meantime, Riley’s supporters are calling for criminal charges against the student involved in the fight.