A California teacher has been reinstated after he was placed on leave for an altercation with a student.

Earlier this month, students at Santa Monica High School say a student was caught dealing drugs in class. When confronted, the teen allegedly hit teacher and wrestling coach Mark Black.

Multiple students caught the altercation on video, where Black can be seen pinning the boy down to the floor.

Students and parents rallied in the teacher’s defense, signing a petition and liking a Facebook page in support of Black. He was able to return to school today.

“Based on what we have learned, it is appropriate to return Mr. Black from paid administrative leave, at this time,” Superintendent Sandra Lyon said in a statement.

Read more below from the Los Angeles Times:

The statement said the decision to return the popular teacher and wrestling coach to the classroom was based on “the preliminary findings of an internal investigation” and the district anticipates receiving the investigator's final report by the middle of next week.

Lyon has emphasized that the district followed its standard practice when it placed Black on leave immediately after the incident came to light. Since the altercation occurred on the Friday prior to spring break, Black has not missed any workdays, officials said.

"I want to make it very clear that Mark Black was not fired or suspended from his job," Lyon said, "he was simply placed on leave with pay during the investigation.”

Blair Moore, an 18-year-old student, pleaded not guilty to multiple misdemeanor charges last week in connection with the fight, including two counts of threatening a public school official, one count of possession of a box cutter on school grounds and one count of possessing marijuana on school grounds, Santa Monica Police Sgt. Jay Moroso said in a statement.

The student was also charged with a single count of “force or violence against a school employee in retaliation for an act performed in the course of his or her duties,” police said.


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