The Santa Monica High School fight during which a teacher and a student fought over drugs, has resulted in the suspension of the Santa Monica High School teacher. “A Santa Monica High School teacher was suspended after videos showed a violent confrontation between him and a male student. Now the teacher's supporters are expressing support for him on social media,” reports the Los Angeles Times on April 8.
On Tuesday, 18-year-old Santa Monica High School student Blair Moore pleaded not guilty to two counts of threatening a public school official, one count of possession of a box cutter and one count of possessing marijuana on school grounds. Until his April 22 pretrial hearing, Moore has been released on his own recognizance.
Unlike the student, teacher Mark Black – who is described by those who know him as a “kindhearted man” – has been placed on leave.
“The superintendent said she placed the teacher on leave and pledged support to the student’s family.”
Friday’s Santa Monica High School fight between the teacher and the student was caught on cellphone videos by several students. One of the videos shows Black, who is a science teacher and wrestling coach, hitting at a student with his arms, holding the teenager by the thigh and then crashing into desks and the classroom. Eventually, the teacher pins the student to the ground.
While District Superintendent Sandra Lyon called the incident of a teacher laying hands on a student "utterly alarming," other Santa Monica High School students who were in the classroom are saying that the teacher was trying to keep the student from selling drugs in the classroom, that the student’s box cutter posed a threat, and that teacher Mark Black was simply defending himself.
"He wasn't trying to hurt him. He just wanted him to stop and he was trying to be a teacher and help," said student Kylan Townsend.
According to a Los Angeles ABC 7 News report, 18-year-old Blair Moore’s mom, Brigitte Spears, is saying that her child is “not a gang banger” and "not a drug dealer." The student’s attorney is saying that the teacher was the aggressor and that “Moore only had a box cutter because he works on a fishing boat as a deckhand.”
The Santa Monica High School fight between teacher Black and student Moore has resulted in an investigation. However, the fact that the teacher has been placed on leave has sparked an outrage among many supporters. “Thousands of people liked a ‘We Support Coach Black of Samohi’ Facebook page and signed a Change.org petition calling for Black's reinstatement. “