Students Arrested in Fight With Teacher

Two students from a Southern California high school were arrested in connection with a classroom brawl with a teacher that was caught on cellphone video, police said on Monday.

Both are students at Santa Monica High School. An 18-year-old man 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.

Police would not release his name, but 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 on Tuesday.

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 cellphone videos fighting with a student Friday. The student was accused of possessing marijuana in class.

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 was placed on leave.

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Superintendent Sandra Lyon said in a letter on Friday that she was alarmed by what she saw of the videos capturing the fight, which caused Santa Monica police to come to the school.

But over the weekend she apologized, saying she had pre-judged the incident based on video that shows "a piece of this story."

Students, meanwhile, rallied behind the teacher.

A Facebook page titled "We Support Coach Black of Samohi" was set up to support him.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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