A video showing a teacher and wrestling coach at Santa Monica High School fighting with a student that was captured on cell phone video has gone viral.
While the teacher and coach has been placed on leave, scores of students took to social media on Saturday to support him.
In a letter to parents, Sandra Lyon, the superintendent of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, said the altercation happened in a classroom Friday morning.
“A deeply disturbing incident involving a teacher and student occurred in a classroom at Santa Monica High School, resulting in the Santa Monica Police Department being called to the campus. A number of videos capturing at least a portion of the incident are circulating, and I can tell you that what I witnessed on one of those videos is utterly alarming,” Lyon wrote.
Lyon added, “Based on what I have viewed, the kind of physical restraint used by the teacher is unacceptable. I have placed the teacher on leave pending the outcome of an independent investigation.”
On Friday KCAL9’s Bobby Kaple reported that witnesses said the incident unfolded because the student was openly holding a bag of marijuana.
When the teacher, who students identified as science teacher Mark Black, tried to confiscate it, the student got physical.