A Santa Monica High School teacher and wrestling coach caught on cell phone videos fighting with a student today was placed on leave pending an investigation into the incident, the school district superintendent announced.
According to a letter sent to parents by Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Superintendent Sandra Lyon, no one was injured in the classroom confrontation between teacher Mark Black and a student whose name has not been released.
But Lyon said she was alarmed by what she saw of the videos capturing the fight, which caused Santa Monica police to come to the school.
"A number of videos capturing at least a portion of the incident are circulating, and I can tell you that what I witnessed on one of those videos is utterly alarming," she wrote in the letter.
Based on what she has seen, the "physical restraint" used by the teacher was "unacceptable," Lyon wrote.
A Santa Monica police spokesman declined to comment on the incident and instead referred questions to the school district.
"We have been in contact with the student's family, and we will work with them to offer the support that they may need," Lyon wrote. "I am grateful that there is no reported serious physical harm to students or teachers, but that neither dismisses the severity of this situation nor my commitment to gather all the facts and make sure the proper actions are taken."
--City News Service