Teacher On Leave After Video Shows Her Wearing Headdress, Doing 'Tomahawk Chops' In Class
RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) — A teacher at North High School in Riverside has been placed on leave after video surfaced on social media of her wearing a feather headdress and "war hooping and tomahawk chopping."
A Native American student began recording the teacher, identified on social media as Candace Reed, because he "felt that violence was being committed against him and he had the right to record."
In the video, the teacher wears the faux feather headdress, demonstrates a tomahawk chop and march, then jumps and skips around her desk in what appears to be her demonstration of a Native American war ritual. Behind her, images drawn on a projector go from the word "Toa" and round structure, to a stick figure wearing feathers in the middle of two pyramids. As she chants and jumps, the students are heard giggling at her.
In another video, she was seen sitting on her desk, apparently demonstrating a prayer, then laughing.
As the video has spread more widely, the American Indian Movement has promised to stage a protest in front of the school Thursday.
The Riverside Unified School District confirmed that the teacher has been placed on leave while they conduct an investigation.
"A recording of one of our teachers has been widely circulated on social media," the district said in a statement. "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."
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