Thousands of people have opened their wallets in support of a California music teacher arrested after a classroom brawl with a 14-year-old student.
Marston Riley, a teacher at Maywood Academy High School, was arrested after a physical altercation with a male student on Friday, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Within three days, the GoFundMe campaign titled “For Mr. Riley” surpassed its goal of $50,000 — and raised over $100,000 for the 64-year-old teacher.
“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,” the GoFundMe read. “He is a great person and a great teacher.”
Cecilia Diaz Jimenez, who once worked in the same school district as Riley, created the fund-raising campaign on Saturday to help the troubled music teacher pay “fines, fees, and lawyers.”
Riley posted a YouTube video confirming the fund-raising page was truly created for him.
“I want to thank you for supporting me. You are a blessing,” he said.
Riley was arrested for child abuse, but later posted a $50,000 bond and has since been released, the sheriff’s department said.
The altercation between the teen and Riley was captured on a cell phone video, and showed the student cursing and hurling racial slurs at the teacher prior to the fight.
In the video, the student can be seen throwing a basketball at his teacher and provoking him, which led to Riley throwing punches.
Riley continued to hit the student until school staff intervened.
The student ended up being transported to a local hospital with moderate injuries.
“I had this teacher before and I had no problem with him,” a fellow student told KTLA. “He was a really nice teacher, I always respected him. He always had a really good relationship with every student.”
An update to the online campaign showed supportive students holding signs outside their high school Monday, reading “Riley deserves better” and “Justice for Riley.”
The Los Angeles Unified School District stated they were “extremely disturbed” by the fight.