By Kelli Ballard

A high school teacher hit a student – repeatedly. Yet the community rallied around him, starting a GoFundMe page that has, as of Thursday, Nov. 8, generated more than $150,000 to help the teacher with any legal issues he may face. The movement, titled “Teachers Deserve Respect: For Mr. Riley,” is trending as word spreads and more people flock to donate to the cause.

Marston Riley is a 64-year-old music teacher at Maywood Academy High School in Maywood, CA, a suburb of Los Angeles. On November 2, a 14-year-old male student approached Riley in the classroom, throwing racial slurs and other inappropriate language at the teacher. For a while, Riley held his patience, but then he snapped and hit the student. The student fought back, and fisticuffs ensued, only to be captured on cell phone video from another student.

According to the GoFundMe, Riley has been the victim of abuse, assumedly by students, on other occasions as well. The teacher was arrested on charges of suspected child abuse and then released on $50,000 bail.

While some are horrified by the teacher’s actions, others applaud the man. Students do not have respect for teachers any more, and with so many liberals coddling the young with participation trophies and instilling them with the entitlement attitude, it’s no wonder. Where has the respect for authority gone? I’ll tell you; right out the window with all the other moral values that used to keep the peace.

I can remember being terrified of the principal in grammar school – or more accurately, the rumor of his “paddle machine.” This was back when teachers were allowed to give their students a good rap on the rear when they got out of control.  The rumor – probably started by older students – was that the principal had a machine in his office for bad little boys and girls. The machine had clamps to hold you up by the britches while the paddle dealt a few good swats to the derriere. I was called into the principal’s office once and can still feel that dread as I looked around nervously for the notorious paddle machine. I never found it of course, but just the thought of getting a sore behind for misbehaving kept me in line.

While trying to protect students from abuse, the liberals have tied teachers’ hands behind their backs and all but painted targets on them.

Kids today don’t have that fear of reprisal.  Youth acting out at or attacking authority is happening more frequently. Just look at the 13-year-old boy in Georgia who called his teacher to him and then stabbed her in the chest with an eight-inch butcher knife earlier in October.

Schools today are much more dangerous than they used to be. Students not only have to worry about the normal rite of passage of name calling and brawls, they also have to be on alert for school shootings. In the bid to become more tolerant and compassionate, society has instead become more violent and unpredictable. While trying to protect students from abuse, the liberals have tied teachers’ hands behind their backs and all but painted targets on them.

In high school, I had friends who drove their trucks to school with their shotguns prominently displayed on gun racks in the back windows. We didn’t have metal detectors, armed guards, security checks or any of the craziness students have today. We had just one lady who walked the grounds looking for sneaky kids trying to ditch fourth period to go to the local Taco Bell. And that woman scared the bejesus out of me at the time, only to find out what a sweet person she was after I had graduated and left the school.

What keeps kids in line now? Without paddle machines and yard duty teachers, there’s nothing to put the fear of punishment into those wild little hearts. How can teachers defend themselves against the little menaces who feel entitled to abuse, threaten, insult, and disrespect them? Mr. Riley may have gone a bit too far, but with students allowed to rule the classrooms through intimidation tactics, it’s a wonder we don’t see this kind of reaction a lot more.

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