Community unites to raise $84K for band teacher who punched unruly student

Screenshot of Marston Riley fighting student.
Screenshot of Marston Riley fighting student.
By Defender News Service

Community members have raised more than $84,000 for a Los Angeles-area teacher captured on video punching a student who had repeatedly called him a racial slur and other names.

A Gofundme page, launched by Cecilia Diaz Jimenez, had raised $84,347 by Tuesday for Marston Riley, a music teacher at Maywood Academy High School.

Video posted to social media shows Riley, who is black, repeatedly hitting the student, who returns some of the blows. Before the scuffle, the video showed the student throwing a basketball at the 64-year-old Riley and repeatedly calling him names.

The student was treated for minor injuries, and Riley was released on bond after being arrested on suspicion of child abuse.

Jimenez noted on the page, “We all may have mixed feelings about what happened. But please do know that this is not the first time that Mr. Riley is attacked; physically or verbally. He is a great person and a great teacher.”

The school district said Monday that administrators have met with students, staff and parents “to begin the healing process.” Most students are standing behind Riley. While speaking to local station KTLA, a student said the incident was planned out. “Everything was planned out …,” the 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.”

This article originally appeared in the Defender News Network

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