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.

Parents were furious about the incident, but students have reached out in support of Riley.

“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.

Comments (6)
  1. Staci Toles-Copeland says:

    He called the teacher the N word! Where is the outrage for that? The teacher is a human being and that word has very serious emotional effects on those of us who have been called it. What if occurred in the reverse? Then all these parents of these bad ass kids would be outraged.
    The fact that he had a previous incident IMO, speaks to the level of disrespect he has to deal with at this school.

  2. Sam Williams says:

    I am seriously disgusted seeing people support this teacher. He did not merely punch a student. He went completely Rocky Balboa on a 14 year old kid. Yes, the boy was disrespectful. He should not have said anything to the teacher, let alone use a racial slur. However, he is 14 – a minor – minors are dubbed minors b/c they do not have the maturity or mind set to fully understand the consequences of their actions. The teacher is a grown man. He should have a thicker skin or find a different line of work. You can’t beat up a kid for being a brat. Don’t make excuses for him.

  3. Michael Johnson says:

    Speaking as a former public school teacher, the teacher is the one who is going to be in trouble. By state law, teachers are the student’s legal guardians while the student is in school attending class.

    Moreover, the students filmed and published the incident so there is enough proof for the state to seek assault charges. The teacher certainly will lose his teaching license for the incident.

    The teacher can’t claim self-defense because he started the fight with the punches. He can’t use the part about the student tossing the basketball at him because the teacher threw his punch way after the student threw the ball.

    Moreover, the teacher didn’t throw just one punch. He squared up and got into a fight with the student. He followed the student around the classroom and punched him numerous times, knocking the student on the ground multiple times. The teacher is going to face assault charges for certain.

  4. Donald Tumblin says:

    Hey CBS2 news you made the teacher look really bad by not showing the entire video that’s bad reporting on your part

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