A teacher at a California high school has been placed on leave after being filmed doing what is being described as an “offensive depiction” of Native American culture.
In a video posted to Instagram, the teacher — who was not named in the video or by the high school — is seen wearing a headdress and dancing with her arms up in the air while making several noises.
The description in the video said that the student, who identifies as Native American, began filming his teacher after several minutes of “war hooping and tomahawk chopping.”
According to the post, the video was taken at John W. North high school in Riverside, Calif., in a math class, and that the student felt he “had the right to record” as he felt that “violence was being committed against him.”
In a statement Thursday, the Riverside Unified School District Administration confirmed that it was a recording of one of their teachers and that she has been placed on leave.
“These behaviors are completely unacceptable and an offensive depiction of the vast and expansive Native American cultures and practices,” read the statement.
“Her actions do not represent the values of our district. The teacher has been placed on leave while the District conducts an investigation.”
The video of the teacher, which quickly viral online, prompted widespread anger and criticism.
“There’s an easier and much less racist way to teach the soh-cah-toa rules for trig,” wrote one user on Twitter.
“All that to teach a class SohCahToa? SohCahToa is like the only thing I remember from HS, and the teach didn’t disrespect or mock our Indigenous ancestors to get me to remember it,” wrote another user.
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