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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wrestling With Unruly Students

     A cell phone video showing a teacher and wrestling coach at Santa Monica High School fighting with a student has gone viral and the teacher and coach have been placed on leave…In a letter to parents, Sandra Lyon, the superintendent of the Santa Monica Unified School District, said the altercation happened in a classroom Friday morning, April 4, 2014.

     "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 from what I witnessed on one of those videos is utterly alarming," Lyon wrote. [Really? Utterly?]

     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." CBS Los Angeles reports witnesses said the incident unfolded because the student was openly holding a bag of marijuana. [I would say this is "utterly alarming."]

     When the teacher, who students identified as science teacher Mark Black, tried to confiscate it, the student got physical….There has been an outpouring of support for Black on social media. Many argue it was clear that Black was defending himself. Some said Lyon acted hastily in placing him on leave and called for the superintendent to resign….

"Teacher on Leave After Fight With Student Caught on Video," CBS News, April 7, 2014

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