THE BRONX - Students at DeWitt Clinton High School are defending a teacher arrested yesterday for allegedly shoving a police officer.

According to a criminal complaint, global studies teacher Jack Israel grabbed a police officer's arm while he was trying to break up a fight between two girls. The complaint says the teacher also shouted at the officer and resisted arrest.

The 55-year-old teacher was charged today with assault and resisting arrest, among other charges.

Students are defending Israel, saying he was just trying to protect his students. One student who claimed to have witnessed the fight says it broke out outside Israel's classroom and that he and another teacher were trying to get a crowd of 100 students back to class. The student claims he saw a police officer shove a female student and that's allegedly when Israel grabbed the officer and shouted at him.

Israel's next court appearance is May 29.