A mural has appeared on a wall near Santa Monica High School apparently supporting Mark Black, a science teacher and wrestling coach, who has been placed on leave following an altercation with students. It was created by an artist who goes by the name of 'Skegs.' (Paul Alvarez Jr.)

A mural has appeared on a wall near Santa Monica High School apparently supporting Mark Black, a science teacher and wrestling coach, who has been placed on leave following an altercation with students. It was created by an artist who goes by the name of ‘Skegs.’ (Paul Alvarez Jr.)

Editor:

The video of Mark Black in an altercation with a student has made it to mainstream media down under in Australia (“Samohi student pleads not guilty in tussle with teacher,” April 8).

I thought I would write to say, as a parent of a high school student in Melbourne, Australia, I wish there were more Mark Black’s in the world.

I sincerely hope that if a teacher at my daughter’s high school believes that a student is peddling drugs, the teacher acts on that information immediately. Teachers have an obligation and a duty of care to all students, not just to the student suspected of pushing drugs.

Of course, in the event that this student punches the teacher, most likely because he/she doesn’t like being confronted about their behavior, I would hope that the teacher involved would be adequately supported to defend themselves and for the good of the whole school community, be able to restrain the student while waiting for additional help to arrive.

As a parent, this is what I would want for my child in the classroom. This is what I would expect of a school that assumed responsibility for the care of my child — and I’ll bet there’s a whole lot of parents in Santa Monica (which I know well) who would want exactly the same thing for their kids, too.

Good for you, Mark Black. The world needs more teachers like you, not fewer.

 

Fiona Mackenzie

Melbourne, Australia

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