SEVERE WX : Air Stagnation Advisory View Alerts

A California teacher was placed on leave after video shows her mimicking Native American dance

The video appears to have been recorded by a student in Riverside, California, during a math lesson and posted on social media by another person.

Posted: Oct 22, 2021 12:46 PM
Updated: Oct 22, 2021 12:52 PM

By Paul P. Murphy and Nicole Chavez, CNN

(CNN) -- A math teacher in Southern California has been placed on leave after videos posted online showed her wearing a headdress and mimicking a Native American dance during a lesson.

The video appears to have been recorded by a student in Riverside, California, during a math lesson and posted on social media by another person. CNN has repeatedly attempted to contact the person that posted the videos online.

In the video, a teacher is seen wearing a headdress made of paper simulating feathers and dancing around the classroom while chanting "SohCahToa" -- a mnemonic used to remember sine, cosine and tangent, which are the three main functions in trigonometry.

At one point, the video shows the teacher making references to a "rock god" and "water goddess."

In a statement Thursday, the Riverside Unified School District confirmed one of its teachers was seen in the video and has been placed on leave while an investigation is conducted.

The district did not identify the teacher. CNN has reached out to the teachers' union and the teacher for comment but has not received a response.

"These behaviors are completely unacceptable and an offensive depiction of the vast and expansive Native American cultures and practices," the district said. "Her actions do not represent the values of our district."

The district noted its commitment to implement "inclusive practices and policies" and said it will be working to regain the trust of the school community.

Crystal Echo Hawk, founder and executive director of IllumiNative, a prominent group focused on increasing the visibility of Indigenous people, said the teacher's behavior was "extremely disrespectful and unacceptable."

"The behavior demonstrated by this California teacher is incredibly harmful to Native youth. We must set a higher standard of training for educators to prevent racism and discrimination from occurring in the classroom -- especially by faculty," Echo Hawk said in a statement.

The incident is an example of the need for cultural competency training for teachers and how Native American history is underrepresented and inaccurate in classrooms across the country, Echo Hawk said.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 392197

Reported Deaths: 5186
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah60432839
Washington42082398
Marion39986507
Clackamas32861382
Lane30179358
Jackson24956361
Deschutes23639185
Umatilla15135182
Linn14704179
Douglas13438292
Josephine10201246
Yamhill9787143
Klamath9072147
Polk8248102
Benton611138
Malheur592790
Coos5693107
Columbia433356
Jefferson420866
Lincoln363852
Union339255
Crook336356
Wasco317046
Clatsop262735
Baker220833
Tillamook217045
Hood River214537
Morrow197825
Curry192439
Harney119933
Grant108515
Lake105616
Wallowa76013
Sherman1913
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5087907

Reported Deaths: 74561
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152858627184
San Diego4074794340
Riverside3880835358
San Bernardino3748555967
Orange3346265736
Sacramento1684922447
Kern1578751804
Fresno1568972259
Santa Clara1522681929
Alameda1252361507
San Joaquin1076041834
Ventura1040841191
Contra Costa1038691046
Stanislaus915481417
Tulare861371099
San Francisco56931672
San Mateo56354629
Monterey52521626
Solano47693358
Santa Barbara47345553
Merced45086668
Sonoma43207412
Placer42204470
Imperial38516773
Kings35221362
San Luis Obispo31511360
Madera26233311
Shasta26113458
Butte25476318
Santa Cruz22268224
Yolo21590260
Marin18495249
El Dorado18325166
Sutter14577186
Napa13424105
Yuba1076389
Tehama10282130
Humboldt10183119
Nevada10029105
Mendocino857799
Lassen797656
San Benito782979
Tuolumne774691
Lake7046110
Amador578366
Siskiyou475855
Glenn457436
Calaveras442288
Del Norte376942
Colusa325921
Inyo256746
Plumas19397
Mono18924
Mariposa160718
Trinity99817
Modoc7725
Sierra2180
Alpine1080
Unassigned810
Out of CA00
Medford
Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 39°
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 49°
Crater Lake
Partly Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 39°
Grants Pass
Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 39°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 27°
More developing valley fog tonight
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events