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Cellphone video shows the violent confrontation between a California teacher and a high school student.

And that image of a science teacher laying his hands on an 18-year-old student has gotten the educator suspended in the Santa Monica School District.

But the context of the video tells a different story.

According to students who have come forward in support of the teacher, he was fighting to stop the student from allegedly selling drugs in class,

District Superintendent Sandra Lyon has labeled the incident of a teacher laying hands on a student "utterly alarming."

But other Santa Monica High School students who were in the classroom are saying that the teacher was trying to keep the student from selling drugs in the classroom,

In addition, they said that the student s box cutter posed a threat, and that the teacher was simply defending himself.

"He wasn't trying to hurt him. He just wanted him to stop and he was trying to be a teacher and help," said student Kylan Townsend.

Student Blair Moore, 18, pleaded not guilty yesterday to two counts of threatening a public school official, one count of possession of a box cutter and one count of possessing marijuana on school grounds. He was released on his own recognizance.

Mark Black, who is a science teacher and wrestling coach, was placed on leave. In the video, he is seen hitting at a student with his arms, holding the teenager by the thigh and then crashing into desks and the classroom. Eventually, the teacher pins the student to the ground.

So what do you think of this case of a teacher allegedly fighting to defend his classroom from drugs being suspended for it?

Tell us.

See the video:

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