RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A teacher at a Riverside High School has been placed on leave after she was filmed by a student “war hooping & tomahawk chopping.” In the videos posted online, the teacher can be seen wearing a type of headdress and dancing back and forth making noises.
According to an Instagram post, a student at John W. North High School began filming because he, “felt that violence was being committed against him and he had the right to record.” The post goes on to say, “This student looks indigenous, has a Native first name and identifies as Native American.”
The Riverside Unified School District released a statement on the incident which read:
"A recording of one of our teachers has been widely circulated on social media. These behaviors are completely unacceptable and an offensive depiction of the vast and expansive Native American cultures and practices. Her actions do not represent the values of our district. The teacher has been placed on leave while the District conducts an investigation.
The Riverside Unified School District values diversity, equity and inclusion, and does not condone behavior against these values.
We are deeply committed to implementing inclusive practices and policies that honor the rich diversity of our district and the greater region. We will be working with our students, families, staff and community to regain your trust.
The Riverside Unified School District Administration"
John W. North High School has not named the teacher who appeared in the video.