Teachers in California who were videotaped dancing and chanting with fake Native American headdresses have been suspended pending an investigation.
Students at John W. North High School in Riverside, California were shown in the video chanting “SOH-CAH-TOA” to recall the trigonometry lesson, wearing a fake feather headdress. Reed has been identified by social media. This clip has been viewed more than five million times since it was recorded by a Native American student in a mathematics class. Apparently, the student began filming the incident, feeling that he was being victimized by violence and had the right to record what was happening to him.
In its statement, Riverside Unified School District affirms that diversity, equity, and inclusion are vital values and does not condone behaviors that oppose them. According to the statement, social media has been abuzz with a recording of a teacher. The behaviors described here represent an offensive portrayal of Native American culture and practices that are vast and expansive. These actions are not consistent with our district’s values. As a consequence, the teacher has been suspended from the classroom pending an investigation.”
As the statement continued, “The Riverside Unified School District is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, and will not tolerate actions that go against these values.” “We are deeply committed to developing policies and procedures that honor our district’s cultural diversity and that of our regional community as well.” “We will be working with parents, staff, and students to restore trust.”
In response to the accusations, the Riverside City Teachers Association’s president, Laura Boling, expressed disappointment over the situation. Los Angeles Times reports that she said in a statement that she doesn’t condone actions that threaten the educational environment for Indigenous students.
It is worth mentioning that California became the first state to require school graduates to take a class in ethnic studies or social justice in order to graduate from high school earlier this month.
This article was penned by Jonathan P. Wright. Jonathan is a freelance writer for multiple mainstream publications and CVO of RADIOPUSHERS. You can read more of his work by clicking here.