A Southern California football coach has been placed on leave — and may face criminal charges — after he was caught on video punching a student in the stomach as punishment for a mistake.
As reported by Los Angeles’ NBC affiliate, Beaumont (Calif.) football coach Will Martin was filmed striking an unidentified student in the stomach in a school classroom. The assault was filmed in front of a number of other students, some of whom audibly laughed after the coach’s punch made contact.
Martin was immediately placed on administrative leave after the video surfaced, and is unlikely to coach at the school again this season. The school launched an independent investigation into Martin’s action, which the parents of the student victim claim was a traditional form of punishment used by the coach.
Interestingly, some football parents support the coach, regardless of what he was shown doing on video.
“If it’s so bad, why are the kids laughing? Why are the kids thinking it’s funny?” Beaumont football parent Jessica Taylor told NBC Los Angeles. “I don’t see a problem with it. My son says there are drills where you get hit like that, and my son says, ‘Mom, it’s football.'”