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A Santa Monica-Malibu teacher is facing criticism after a video of him and a student fighting at Santa Monica High School in California went viral.

The teacher, who is also a wrestling coach, was placed on administrative leave following the incident. Disturbed parents are calling for him to resign, but students took to social media over the weekend in a show of support to defend the teacher’s actions.

On Friday KCAL9’s Bobby Kaple reported that witnesses said the incident unfolded because the student was openly holding a bag of marijuana.

When the teacher, who students identified as science teacher Mark Black, tried to confiscate it, the student got physical.

On Saturday, KCAL9′s Cristy Fajardo said there was an outpouring of support for Black. On Facebook, a page backing Coach Black has thousands of “likes.”

Students and some parents believe the teacher was acting in self-defense.

Parent Michelle Cardel said, “The coach has the entire community behind him. I think an investigation should be done before anyone rushes to judgment.

Still, superintendent of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, Sandra Lyon, is doing damage control and investigating the shocking classroom brawl.

“A deeply disturbing incident involving a teacher and student occurred in a classroom at Santa Monica High School, resulting in the Santa Monica Police Department being called to the campus. A number of videos capturing at least a portion of the incident are circulating, and I can tell you that what I witnessed on one of those videos is utterly alarming,” Lyon wrote.

Lyon added, “Based on what I have viewed, the kind of physical restraint used by the teacher is unacceptable. I have placed the teacher on leave pending the outcome of an independent investigation.”

Did the teacher take it too far? Watch the insane video above and sound off below…

SOURCE: CBS | VIDEO SOURCE: YouTube