Maywood, CA – A 64-year-old music teacher who hit a 14-year-old student has a GoFundMe page that has raised $159,000 as of Wednesday night, far above its $50,000 goal.
Marston Riley was arrested Nov. 2 on charges of child abuse and causing great bodily injury on a child after the brawl was captured on video at Maywood Academy High School.
However, after seeing the video of the incident, many believe that the student had it coming.
The teacher has been suspended without pay until further notice, according to KCAL.
His was set at $50,000, which was quickly raised on the crowdfunding site. He has since been released on bail.
The GoFundMe page was started by Cecilia Jimenez, according to the Sacramento Bee. Jimenez said she worked for four years at the high school where the fight occurred.
“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,” Jimenez posted on the GoFundMe page, according to the Sacramento Bee. “I am sure Mr. Riley will need money to pay any fines, fees and lawyers.”
The GoFundMe page has a short message from the teacher on it that was posted on YouTube.
“I want to thank you for supporting me, you are a blessing, thank you,” Riley said on the video.
In the aftermath of the fight, one student who spoke to the TV station anonymously said he thought the teacher was set up by other students.
“Everything was planned out,” the student said, according to KTLA. “There were students there who were already taking out their phones to record the incident. I don’t think it’s completely fair that they’re just putting the blame all on (Riley), when I personally know that he’s a good guy.”
Another student who was not identified by KTLA spoke in defense of the teacher.
“I had this teacher before and I had no problem with him,” that student told KTLA. “He was a really nice teacher, I always respected him. He always had a really good relationship with every student.”
Not everyone was as supportive of the teacher.
“That’s really disrespectful. It’s a teacher, so that’s not OK, you know,” Maywood resident Jenni Chavez told KCAL. “But however, it’s still not OK for the teacher to have punched a student either.”
The Maywood Academy Faculty released a statement, according to KCAL.
“Many Americans saw for the first time the deterioration of respect for teachers,” the faculty association stated, according to KCAL. “… We have created an environment where disrespect, bullying and intolerance can thrive.”
Supporters of the teacher have asked for criminal charges to be pressed against the 14-year-old student.
In an video, the 14-year-old student called Riley a “b—h” and said, “You ain’t gonna do s—t” and added, “you a ho a-s b—ch.”
Riley paused and then threw the first punch which stunned the student. Riley’s third punch connected and the student fell to the ground.
When the student got up, Riley continued with the attack and chased the 14-year-old who was back peddling.
When Riley cornered the student against a wall, the 14-year-old ducked and grabbed the teacher’s leg. So Riley began pounding the student in the head with what appeared to be his cell phone about a dozen times.
Classmates screamed and recorded as the two fought.
Eventually, some of the students tried to step in and end the fight. But after the teacher and student were separated, Riley continued after the 14-year-old.
The teacher and student exchanged punches again and another student held back the 14-year-old by the door while the teacher backed off.