Video of Riverside teacher imitating Native Americans ‘highly insulting,’ schools chief says – Daily News

Riverside’s prime educator has promised to “squarely and honestly” confront the outrage sparked by the viral video of a John W. North High School math teacher who donned a pretend Native American headdress, dancing round a classroom and transferring her arms in a chopping movement.

Superintendent Renee Hill, in addressing the group at a Riverside Unified School District board meeting Thursday night time, Oct. 21, stated the teacher was promptly positioned on go away and an investigation has been launched by the personnel division of Riverside County’s second-largest public faculty system. The district has not recognized the teacher.

“Her words, her actions, done during class time, were highly insulting and marginalizing to Native Americans, Indigenous cultures and others,” stated Hill, in keeping with the meeting videotape. “Please be assured that this has our full attention … and it will be addressed expeditiously.”

A display seize from Instagram reveals a viral video that started circulating Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. In it, a math teacher at Riverside’s North High School is seen sporting a pretend Native American headdress and dancing round. The lesson has been criticized on social media as racially insensitive and the teacher has been positioned on go away. (Via Instagram)

“We have the obligation to look squarely and honestly at this incident and address it appropriately,” she added.

Hill, the primary particular person of coloration to guide the Riverside faculty district, stated she understands the general public concern and “desire for immediate action.” But she stated the district should comply with the regulation and supply due course of to the worker “so that our ultimate action is on solid ground and will not further complicate an already unfortunate situation.”

In a social media post, faculty board member Angelo Farooq condemned “the abhorrent and offensive behavior” of the North teacher.

“This is not only an unacceptable affront to our Native American community but to all of us who share the ideals of an inclusive society that celebrates our diverse historical/cultural contributions,” Farooq wrote. “RUSD is a proud early adopter of ethnic studies as a high school graduation requirement and we need to build on those values to foster an even deeper commitment to these principles in all of our learning environments.”

Farooq stated he’s assured district leaders will deal with the scenario “with the seriousness it deserves.”

Many folks spoke throughout a public-comment interval on the board meeting, demanding the teacher be fired. Many expressed outrage, too, at studying the identical teacher was pictured within the faculty’s 2012 yearbook, sporting a pretend headdress and discussing her apply of dancing across the room in an effort to get college students to recollect a math idea.

Riverside resident Kim Kirkpatrick, a 2012 North High graduate, stated in a Thursday interview she was shocked when she checked out her senior yearbook and located a photograph of the identical teacher “doing exactly what she did” within the video.

District spokesperson Diana Meza stated by cellphone that it’s not clear how lengthy the investigation will take. North High and the district have acquired quite a few calls and emails concerning the incident, she stated.

Riverside Unified already has made inclusivity a precedence, and 5 years in the past the district created an Equity Task Force to handle alternative and achievement gaps, Meza stated.

“As a district, we now have a system for developing equity goals, securing professional learning focused on compassionate dialogue, restorative practices and implicit bias, and common language to embrace and support our staff, students and families,” she wrote in an e mail.

But she stated that, in mild of the North High incident, the district will study whether or not extra is required.

One of those that spoke to the board was Sammie Luna-Smith, a 1996 North High graduate and North Alumni Association president.

“I have a heavy heart,” Luna-Smith stated, in keeping with the videotape. “It’s been a difficult day for all of us.”

She referred to as the incident a “perfect example” of why the brand new state regulation mandating that California high school students pass an ethnic studies class to graduate, starting with the Class of 2030, is required — not just for college students, however for lecturers, too. The governor signed a invoice sponsored by Assembly Member Jose Medina, D-Riverside.

The teacher video was shared on social media by Akalei Brown, a graduate of the Native American Studies program at UC Davis and an American Indian of Kanaka-Maoli and Taos Pueblo descent.

“After watching the full 6-minute video I was left shaking,” Brown wrote in a message. “I felt it necessary to share this video with the world so they could have a small glimpse into the type of abuses Native children face in U.S. schools every day.”

She stated the coed who filmed the video “gave me full rights to the video in writing.” She stated the particular person doesn’t need to be recognized for security causes.

Staff author Allyson Escobar contributed to this report.

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