Maywood High: Tolerance vs. Student

Nicole Alvarez, Co-Editor-In-Chief

A video circulated the internet on Nov. 3 that showed Maywood Academy High School’s music teacher, Marston Riley, fighting a student after being called racial slurs multiple times. The internet has been torn apart between some believing that the teacher’s actions were justified and others calling it child abuse. Either way, a trial has already been confirmed in order to settle the devastating situation.


The viral video on twitter started off with the student cussing out Riley multiple times after being kicked out of class for not wearing his uniform.  Moments after, Riley striked the student repeatedly which ultimately broke into a fight between the two. There were staff members who rushed in yelling “No!” and “Stop!” with concerned and shocked faces. The video ended with Riley backing away from the student stating “Who hit him?” faking as if he did not hit him and that it was a fight between the student he just punched and someone else.


Heidi Hernandez, 10, expresses that if she would have been the teacher, she would have immediately called a figure of authority to handle the situation before any serious injuries occured.


“If I were in this situation, I would have just called the principal” Hernandez stated. “or sent the student to the office.”


Although the video showcases some very concerning actions that can be claimed as child abuse, there are many people supporting Riley.


Carolina Gutierrez, 10,  supports Riley in this situation due to the student’s bad behavior:


“Just because you got taken out of class for not wearing the right uniform” Gutierrez Stated. “does not give you the right to be very racist and disrespectful to the teacher.”


A GoFundMe page has been created for Riley, with nearly $70,000 having been donated. The Los Angeles School District’s decision to fire Riley was upsetting to students that have supported him. Interviews from ABC News show students demonstrating their devastation that one of their beloved teachers might be imprisoned. Despite the internet being torn between the teacher and the student, one thing that most can agree on is that this situation should never repeat itself.


Leslie Aviles, 10, believes that communication is very important in this situation in order to prevent this act from happening again.


“Talk to the students and teacher about the situation” Aviles stated. “and how bullying can not only affect kids but elders as well.”


Sources such as ABC News have interviewed students who have hinted that this isn’t the first time that the student has disrespected Riley. Former student, Amy Viagas stated in an interview with ABC News that “He’s more of a calm teacher, and he respects everyone and doesn’t really act that way.” In this case communication is undoubtedly necessary to find out how long Riley has been treated this way and if it’s enough to imprison him for child abuse. Currently the Los Angeles Unified School District is doing everything they can in order to make the school a welcoming and safe environment for all of their students once again.