A fundraiser for a California teacher who was arrested after fighting with a student has raised $85,000.
Marston Riley, 64, was arrested for child abuse after video footage recorded on Nov. 2 showed him fighting with a 14-year-old student in his music class at Maywood Academy High School, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.
He was later released on bond. The boy was treated for moderate injuries at a local hospital and later released.
The fundraiser on GoFundMe was launched by Cecilia Diaz Jimenez, who works for the same school district as Riley and worked at Maywood Academy for three years.
She said Riley “has earned the respect of many teachers, staff, and students. Unfortunately, over the past few years unpleasant events have happened to him. Despite all that has happened, he has continued to do what he loves the most, to teach music.”
She added, “Today, another distasteful event happened to Mr. Riley. Many of you have seen the video, which I will not post here. And sadly, he was handcuffed and was sent to jail. 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.”
Students echoed her message, telling KTLA that their classmate had provoked him repeatedly. The video shows the student using profanity, hurling a racial slur at Riley, and throwing a basketball at him.
One student alleged that what happened was planned by the victim while another said Riley was a good teacher. “I had this teacher before and I had no problem with him,” that student said. “He was a really nice teacher, I always respected him. He always had a really good relationship with every student.”
Donations for Lawyers
In a video posted on the GoFundMe page, Riley thanked people for donating.
“I want to thank you for supporting me,” he said. “You are a blessing.”
The donations will go for Riley’s legal representation in the case, Jimenez said.
Sheriff’s detectives said they’re still investigating the case.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Special Victims Bureau toll-free tip line at (877) 710-5273 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Riley is scheduled to be arraigned on Nov. 30 at the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Courthouse.