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2 Samohi Students Arrested in Connection with Teacher Brawl

One was booked on suspicion of threatening a school official, battery against a school employee, being in possession of a weapon -- a box cutter -- and possession of marijuana.

Two Santa Monica High School students have been arrested in connection with a fight caught on videotape with a teacher. Patch file photo.
Two Santa Monica High School students have been arrested in connection with a fight caught on videotape with a teacher. Patch file photo.

Two Santa Monica High School students were arrested in connection with a classroom brawl with a teacher that was caught on cellphone video and triggered a backlash from parents and teachers, police said today.

Since both are students, police declined to release their names, although one is 18 years old and was booked on suspicion of threatening a school official, battery against a school employee, being in possession of a weapon -- a box cutter -- and possession of marijuana, according to Santa Monica police Sgt. Jay Moroso.

Although police would not release his name, the Santa Monica Daily Press -- citing Santa Monica police booking records -- reported that 18-year-old Blair Moore was arrested Friday morning after police responded to a fight at the school. Sheriff's booking records show that Moore remains jailed on $20,000 bail and is due to appear at the Airport Branch Courthouse tomorrow.

The second student, age 16, is accused of battery against a school employee.

The teacher, identified as Mark Black, who is also the school's wrestling coach, was caught on video scuffling with a student who was allegedly caught with marijuana in a classroom.

No punches were thrown, but Black can eventually be seen on the video with his arms locked around the student's legs, on the classroom floor. Some witness reports indicated the teacher had been stabbed with a pencil.

Black was placed on leave. Sandra Lyon, superintendent of the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District, sent a letter home with students Friday saying "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."

Based on what she had seen, the "physical restraint" used by Black was "unacceptable," Lyon wrote.

Over the weekend, however, Lyon found herself on the defensive as support for Black grew. A Facebook page titled "We Support Coach Black of Samohi" had more than 11,000 "likes" as of this afternoon. Some people left comments on the page criticizing Lyon for her comments condemning Black's actions before knowing all the facts.

Lyon issued a statement over the weekend apologizing for her comments, saying they had been misinterpreted as a pre-judgment of the teacher's actions before a full investigation was conducted.

"Clearly, this video is only a piece of this story and many people only have seen or heard a part of the story," she wrote in a memo to the school board obtained by the Los Angeles Times. "I can assure that any future action will be based on the full investigation."

--City News Service


Gloria April 09, 2014 at 05:19 PM
Mimi you are still missing the point! Lyons is suppose to be a professional above rash judgements. Like a parent when a child has done something wrong you find out why, what lead to this, how come they fought. It appears you are not a parent but emotionally tied to this Lyons otherwise you would see she made a huge mistake in crucifying the teacher before knowing the facts.Igor is right she may have ruined a career that a teacher has worked hard at while she continues in her position. It should never happen again and to assure that is to fire her.
mimi April 10, 2014 at 01:36 AM
Gloria- We do not share the same analytic skills or moral compass. I do not know any of the individuals involved in this incident and have no desire to make their acquaintance. I will wait until the results of the investigation are made public before I post another comment on this subject.
Gloria April 10, 2014 at 01:29 PM
Mimi I would say you LACK analytic skills and have rash judgements on my moral character. You clearly do not know me "to cast the first stone". Perhaps it is better you stop now. My comments were to support this teacher and make us all aware her position is not a given but to use it without rash judgements and to be professional at all times. There is no room for "oops I made a mistake" and hide.
Larry El April 10, 2014 at 03:45 PM
The biggest part of this story is about the despicable superintendent Sandra Lyon. She should be immediately fired with zero termination compensation. Her actions are, in her own words, “utterly alarming”. The “student” with a lengthy criminal record, possessing drugs and a weapon, is attending SAMO because he’s been kicked out of LAUSD, the superintendent throws the honorable teacher/coach under the bus, and who’s on leave?...the teacher!...amazing. I hope Mr. Black sues and receives a seven figure settlement, he deserves it.
Igor April 10, 2014 at 04:12 PM
mimi please read http://santamonica.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/santa-monica-pd-releases-name-photo-of-student-arrested-after-teacher-brawl. Lyons is quick to point out that people shouldn't Lyons said"We urge everyone in our community to resist letting rumors and inflammatory statements shape their opinions. Only when all the evidence and witness statements have been reviewed will we have a true and accurate accounting of what actually happened."" But she was the first one to jump the gun. You stated "Only then will we know the good guys from the bad." The box cutter and stabbing someone with a pencil is a pretty good indicator who the bad guy was.You are part of the problem. The perpetrator gets all the rights and victim gets beat up twice, once by the perpetrator and again by people like you.

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