A wrestling coach with Beverly Hills High School was fired by the school district after allegedly becoming physically aggressive toward a student, which was caught on campus security video.
But parents and students are rallying behind him, saying the coach was standing up for another student who was being bullied.
The alleged incident happened on Nov. 2, involving coach Ryan Faintich speaking with the student.
The surveillance video shows two boys and Faintich. The coach places his hand on the shoulder of the student, pushing him once, then shoving him a few more times before leaving to get school security.
Faintich was a coach at the school for 11 years and spoke at a district board meeting last week, along with dozens of his supporters.
"While I truly wanted to protect and safeguard my wrestlers, there was a better way to handle it," Faintich said at the meeting.
Students on the wrestling team said the boy in question had given a black eye to one of the wrestlers. Some parents do not believe Faintich should have been fired over the incident.
"My son grew and matured and developed in a way that just wouldn't happen without him," said parent Jordan Kranas.
The school district said a thorough investigation was conducted into the event that included interviewing witnesses and looking over the video footage of the incident. The coach was then fired.
"It's like I lost someone," said one student. "It's like I lost a mentor."
Beverly Hills Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Michael Bregy released a statement saying:
"A few weeks ago, I was utterly disappointed to learn of an incident that took place where an employee was physically aggressive toward a student. Appropriate steps were immediately taken to thoroughly investigate the event. No stone was left unturned, witnesses were interviewed, and the video footage from before, during, and after the incident was scrutinized. The employee no longer works for BHUSD."
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