Riverside teacher mimicking Native Americans stirs outrage

Posted at 9:52 AM, Oct 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-22 12:52:48-04

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) -- A school district in Southern California has placed a teacher on leave after a video posted on social media showed her wearing a fake Native American headdress and mimicking indigenous dances during a classroom lesson.

The Riverside Unified School District said in a statement Thursday the behavior was "completely unacceptable and an offensive depiction of the vast and expansive Native American cultures and practices."

In the video that was posted Wednesday on social media, the teacher appears to be chanting, "SohCahToa," a mnemonic device used to help remember trigonometric functions, as she dances and jumps around the front of the classroom, waving her arms in a chopping motion.

The Orange County Register reported that the school district identified the woman as a trigonometry teacher.