LAX COURTHOUSE — One of two Santa Monica High School students arrested after an alleged fight with a teacher plead not guilty to five misdemeanors Tuesday, according to the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office.
Blair Moore, 18, is accused of, among other things, using violence as retaliation against a school employee who was attempting to carry out his duty. He’s also accused of possessing a razor blade and marijuana.
Moore is a resident of Los Angeles, according to police reports. There are numerous ways an out-of-city resident can qualify for enrollment in the district. The Daily Press was unable to determine Moore’s reason for eligibility by press time.
He was arraigned at the Los Angeles Airport Court. Charges were filed by the City Attorney’s Office.
On Friday morning, the Santa Monica Police Department was called to Samohi for a report of battery.
A cellphone video taken by a student shows science teacher Mark Black fighting with a student. In the video, Black, who is also a wrestling coach, pins the student to the ground.
The fight reportedly broke out after Black tried to stop a student from selling marijuana in class.
Two students were arrested — Moore and a 16-year-old male. The 16-year-old, against whom police are seeking a charge of battery against a school employee, will appear in court at least 60 days from his arrest on Friday. He is a resident of Santa Monica, according to police reports. He was released to his parents on the day of the incident.
Black was placed on paid leave. The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District is on spring break through April 20. District officials hope to complete its investigation before the break is over.
Moore is also charged with two counts of threatening a school employee with the apparent ability to carry out that threat, according to court documents.
His pretrial date is scheduled for April 22 and his trial date is May 6.
An online petition asking for the reinstatement of Black had more than 7,000 signatures by press time. A Facebook page in support of Black has more than 18,500 likes.
District Superintendent Sandra Lyon noted on Monday that his paid leave is a standard procedure and not a “determination of wrongful conduct or decision to suspend or discipline him.”
Moore was released on his own recognizance with orders not to threaten or harass victims named in the case.