A California teacher and wrestling coach shown embroiled in a classroom fight with a student faced castigation, ridicule, and criticism. Now, he’s facing something else: support from his students.
The teacher, Mark Black, is depicted in the now-viral World Star Hip Hop video fighting a student, eventually overpowering the unnamed youth and pinning him to the ground. The video, which quickly gained over a million views, resulted in Black being placed on temporary leave by his employer, Santa Monica High School, pending completion of an internal investigation.
In an email to the school community, Santa Monica-Malibu Superintendent Sandra Lyon suggested that Mark Black was out of line, and that his take-down was “utterly alarming”.
Though the email elicited outrage by students and parents in the community, generating a swift apology by the Superintendent, it seemed Black would face an uphill battle to clear his name.
Students Send Support, Saying Teacher Wasn’t Responsible for Classroom Fight
That criticism, however, would soon be met with overwhelming opposition. Following the email from the Superintendent, a Facebook page titled “We Support Coach Black of Samohi” reached more than 10,000 “likes” (at the time of this writing, the page currently has 13,140 “likes” – more than 10% of the population of Santa Monica, and more than three times the population of the school in question).
Several students who witnessed the incident suggested that the student depicted in the video repeatedly stepped out of the classroom to allegedly sell marijuana. After a third classroom exit, Black called security, prompting the student to allegedly push the teacher, instigating the classroom fight.
Because of this, many students believe that, even forgetting the allegations of drug dealing by the student in question, Black was in the right to defend himself.
Sources also allege that near the end of the video, Black was injured by a sharp object, and after the video concludes, was further attacked by a second student.
Though this has not been confirmed by local authorities, the story is corroborated by multiple witnesses, suggesting that the classroom fight was not caused by Black, and that his actions were not, as first suggested, overly aggressive or without purpose, but rather actions of self defense.
What do you think? Is Black in the right for apprehending the student using force for his alleged drug dealing, or has this California teacher gone too far?