LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A not guilty plea was entered Friday on behalf of a former Maywood high school music teacher caught on video punching a student.

Marston Riley, 64, of Anaheim faces a misdemeanor charge of corporal injury to a child in connection with the Nov. 2 altercation in front of a classroom filled with students at Maywood Academy High School. Cell phone video shot by one of the students shows Riley punching the 14-year-old boy in the face.

Witnesses later said that Riley had asked the student to leave class because he wasn’t wearing a proper uniform, and the student had allegedly responded by yelling racial slurs at Riley, who is black, including the N-word.

Riley was arrested, but was released from jail the following day. He was charged on Nov. 30, but was not required to appear in court Friday because is charged with a misdemeanor.

While the video was shocking on its own, it drummed up plenty of support for Riley. His fellow faculty members at the school have asked the district attorney not to file charges against him, and a GoFundMe page set up on his behalf blew way past its goal of $50,000, reaching more than $189,000.

In a videotaped statement posted on the GoFundMe page after the misdemeanor count was filed against him, Riley said, “At this time, I am no longer an LAUSD employee because I had to retire early … I want to thank you for your words of encouragement, your letters, your support — financially, spiritually. I can’t thank you enough for your overwhelming help. I’m deeply moved.”

Speaking directly to his former students, Riley said he wanted them to know that he missed working with them and hopes that he will be able to come and talk to them “when this is all over.”

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

  1. Jay says:

    Let’s assume the student threw a basketball at the teacher, continuously hurled racial slurs at him and hit the teacher with a basketball. Who in their right mind (big qualifier), could think this teacher was justified in punching the student? Faculty members supporting this? Civil rights (some) supporting and thereby condoning this behavior from a teacher. We as African-Americans must expect and demand more of our own race. If it were a white teacher we response would be demanding he be beheaded and buried under a jail (and rightly so). Why do we not require the same of our own? In some regard, having a black, male teacher do this to a young (even if defiant) black student is even more despicable. It seems the teacher had an opportunity to leave and go get security, principle, fellow teachers….to help deescalate and resolve the situation. Instead he did the opposite and overreacted to say the least.

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