'I'm Right Here, N***a:' Students Defend Los Angeles Music Teacher Arrested For Hitting Teen Who Taunted Him
A GoFundMe campaign has been started to aid with the educator's legal fees.
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On Friday afternoon, Maywood Academy music teacher Marston Riley was arrested by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department for child abuse after he was caught on camera exchanging punches with a teenage student.
Seriously, this child is speaking out of his ass. We get it the teacher through the first punch but the student deserves consequences too! @ABC7 #JusticeforRiley support and understand the teacher!! He was also jumped about two years ago by 3 students pic.twitter.com/JfNp9X0O6g— jeng (@LaFlackitaaa) November 3, 2018
The video footage shows the teacher striking the 14-year-old student after he stood in front of the class and repeatedly taunted the teacher.
“You got me f***ked up bro,” the teen is heard saying. "What's up, bro? You see me? I'm right here, n***a."
After several derogatory statements from the student and his repeated use of "n***a," the 64-year-old man punched the teen in his face, beginning a brawl that ended with a woman separating the two before other adults intervened.
Several of his peers have defended the educator.
“The kid really messed up doing that – calling him the N-word," a student named Fabiola Martinez told CBS 2 Los Angeles.
“He’s a wonderful teacher. He’s just here to help us learn how to play instruments," another student, Fernando Juarez, added.
The teacher’s neighbor, who has lived across the street from him for 16 years, also shared supportive sentiments.
“To make racial slurs, at your own teacher — that’s wrong," he shared. “That’s not something that should be taught in school. That should be taught at home."
Students also spoke with KTLA 5 on Friday night after the incident.
"Everything was planned out," an anonymous student said. "There were students there who were already taking out their phones to record the incident. I don't think it's completely fair that they're just putting the blame all on (Riley) when I personally know that he's a good guy."
"I had this teacher before, and I had no problem with him," another student said. "He was a really nice teacher; I always respected him. He always had a really good relationship with every student."
According to BuzzFeed News, the teacher was also accused of punching another student on camera two years ago.
Graduate Nathalie Londono shared to the publication that three students attacked the teacher last year.
"They were caught ditching class, and Mr.Riley just wanted to make things right and just send them back where they were supposed to be," she said.
Seriously? More FAKE NEWS. Yes Mr. Riley was involved in another incident 2 YEARS AGO, but he did NOT “punch another student”. No where did they mention that Mr. Riley DIDN’T fight back and was sent to the hospital for a month. He was attacked by three students ON DRUGS... pic.twitter.com/tUGd49e1hF— Stefany ✨ (@stefanyssilvam) November 4, 2018
Others have shared their support for Riley on Twitter:
That teacher DEFINITELY used a measure of calm, kept his hands in front of him and did not instantly react, even though this "wanna be grown" kid walked upon him! He WANTED that teacher to react! Yep, he should've whooped his ass!— ThereCanBeOnlyOne (@ASuperwomanIAm) November 4, 2018
2 minutes of being berated, and the student took a threatening stance. He came there for a confrontation, but I guess you would rather the teacher run out of the classroom to go grab the principal. His reaction was appropriate, although one punch would suffice.— RL (@RLSVO19) November 3, 2018
The kid was in his face. He should have been seated to let the class continue. Are you loco? No adult--you included--should take disrespect from another person even if that person is a student. Hope the teacher gets exonerated and the kid gets expelled. Kid is out of control.— JustFam (@MoM1985) November 4, 2018
Riley was released from jail on $50,000 bail and will be arraigned on November 30.
A Go Fund Me page has been started to assist with Riley’s legal fees.
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