I am sure by now you have all seen the viral video of a Math teacher in the Inland Empire, at John H. North High School in Riverside to be exact…sigh. So let’s talk about it.
Her name is Candice Reed, a math teacher who wore a fake Native American headdress while she danced around her classroom “war hooping” and “tomahawk chopping.” Sighs again…and this time adds a facepalm.
I first saw this video on TikTok and it definitely angered me, I was left with a lot of questions. The video was taken by a Native American student at North HS earlier this week. The student said he felt “violated” by the actions of the teacher. Apparently, it is a tactic that Reed has been using for several years to teach calculus. The school has long known about it and even featured it in their 2012 school yearbook. We’re in 2021. This means that, from what we know, Reed has been perpetuating violent stereotypes in her classroom for almost 10 years. She does this under the guise of wanting her students to learn this lesson and never forget it. Meanwhile, Reed has learned nothing over the course of these years. This is not appropriate. This is not something she should be doing to get a lesson across to her students. And while I blame her for her ignorance and cultural insensitivity, I also blame the administration at the high school for not putting an end to her atrocious behavior.
The district is “investigating” the incident while Reed is on paid leave. She has not been fired, despite the call by thousands to fire her. The district must be finding itself in a bit of a pickle. They are equally responsible for Reed’s inappropriate display, so if they fire her she would appear to have a cause against the district. Ultimately, the huge public outcry will have to result in someone being held accountable.
After thousands of emails and calls, the district did respond with a public statement within 24 hours of the video being posted.
The Riverside Unified School District values diversity, equity, and inclusion, and does not condone behavior against these values,” the district wrote. “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 “investigation” is ongoing.
What are your thoughts?
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