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Two Students Arrested Over Brawl With Teacher

Benjamin Li |
April 8, 2014 | 3:24 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer

Two students from Santa Monica High School were arrested in relation to a classroom fight between a teacher and student that was recorded on a cell phone camera, police said Monday.

60-year old science teacher Mark Black, who's also the school wrestling coach, grappled with one of his students after accusing him of illegally soliciting marijuana during class - according to NBC LA. Black eventually managed to pin the student down by the legs. Some student witnesses reported the student threw the first punch at Black's face, and that Black was stabbed with a pencil.

Sgt. Jay Moroso announced that an 18 year old student, whom he did not name, was arrested from Santa Monica High School for threatening a school official, battery, possession of marijuana, and carrying a weapon (a box-cutter knife). 

Another 16 year old student was also arrested on charges of attacking a school employee.

District official Superintendent Sandra Lyon placed Black on leave after calling the incident "deeply disturbing" and "unacceptable" in an email addressing all Santa Monica High School students.

A well-liked teacher, Black is being supported through his predicament by his many students. 

A Facebook page called "We Support Coach Black of Samohi" already has over 16,000 likes, and a Change.org petition aiming to end Black's leave has over 6,200 signatures already.

The petition reads:

Mark Black, longtime science teacher and wrestling coach at Santa Monica High School, was attacked on the morning of April 4, 2014, by a student in his science classroom. The student was in possession of Marijuana that he was attempting to sell in the classroom. As Mr. Black attempted to confiscate the drug and stop the illegal distribution, he was attacked by the student. In an attempt to protect himself and not injure the student in question, Mr. Black, a wrestling coach with over 30 years experience, placed the student in a restraint hold to stop the student from further attacking him. This was in an effort to get the situation under control until the proper authorities could be contacted.


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