Community members have raised more than $100,000 for a Los Angeles-area teacher captured on video punching a student who had repeatedly called him a racial slur and other names.
In a few days, a Gofundme page had raised more than double the stated goal of $50,000 for Marston Riley, a music teacher at Maywood Academy High School.
Riley, 64, of Maywood Academy High School in California was released from jail one day after he was filmed punching a 14-year-old boy repeatedly during class.
In the cellphone video, captured by another student and shared by local news outlets, Riley and the boy, who has not been identified, can be seen standing at the front of a classroom where they exchanged punches during a heated dispute.
Students told KTLA that Riley allegedly asked the boy to leave the classroom because he was not wearing a proper uniform. In the footage, the student can be heard responding by repeatedly saying a racial slur at Riley, who is black. The brawl escalated after the student threw a basketball at Riley.
Though Riley appeared to be standing quietly at first, he can later be seen striking the boy, who was seen on the ground wrapping his arms around Riley’s leg. The altercation ended when a woman in a yellow safety vest intervened.
Authorities confirmed the student was treated for “moderate injuries” at a local hospital before he was released. Meanwhile, Riley was arrested on suspicion of child abuse Friday, according to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department inmate records. He was kept overnight and released on $50,000 bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 30.
The Special Victims Bureau of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department is currently conducting an investigation.
Riley spoke out in a YouTube video thanking students for their support.
Cecilia Diaz Jimenez, who claims to have previously worked at Maywood Academy, created a GoFundMe page for Riley. “Be mindful that the school district is looking at dismissing him and I would not doubt if the student’s parents are looking into pressing criminal charges,” she wrote in the page description.
“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,” Jimenez added.