Riverside Unified’s Candice Reed Terminated 6 Months After Viral TikTok is Posted

We all remember Candice Reed, the tomahawk toting math teacher from Riverside Unified School District, right? Well, she was finally fired from her teaching position a couple of weeks ago on February 3rd. 

However, one day later on February 4th, the CTA filed an appeal on her behalf. Apparently, the California Teachers Association does not believe deplorable culture appropriation is a fireable offense. If you recall, a video of Candice Reed mocking Native Americans was posted on TikTok last August. She’s been on extended paid leave since then. Let that sink in it has taken 6 long months to address this issue even though several California assembly members from the region held a special board meeting about the issue and its effects on the community.  

It may shock you to learn that Candice Reed was on administrative paid leave for so many months, but here in California, it’s extremely difficult to terminate a teacher. Even teachers under investigation for sexual allegations have stayed on paid leave for months and sometimes years. There should be a way to address issues like this, where the CTA can’t get involved. It’s not acceptable to allow such an extended paid leave period if the teachers association is going to appeal on your behalf anyway when you’re terminated. What difference would it have made if Candice Reed was fired back in August versus this month if an appeal was made on her behalf either way? 

This is all part of a bigger problem in California. Actually, it’s a problem we have nationwide. I’m sure we all remember the notorious “rubber rooms” they used to hold teachers in while investigating and firing them. These rooms were somewhat the equivalent of detention for students. Teachers had to report to district headquarters every day and stay in these rooms until the end of the school day. Some would be held in the room for weeks, months, and even years. While most school districts did away with rubber rooms in 2015, they still hold teachers on administrative paid leave instead of firing them immediately. 

I suspect the school district will be an issue because past administrators were aware of Ms. Reed’s prior offensive demonstrations and they never addressed it. She was allowed to continue her culturally appropriate math lessons for several years without being held accountable. I imagine that may play a large role in the district taking responsibility for Reed’s actions.

Comadres, I’ll be following this story to see how exactly the teacher’s union defends Candice Reed’s actions.

What do you think?
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Leticia Chavez-Garcia

Leticia Chavez-Garcia

Leticia Chavez-Garcia is a Mother, Grandmother, former Middle School Teacher, former Member of a School Board of Education and an Education Advocate for hundreds of parents and students in the Inland Empire. Having become a mother at 15, Leticia knows what it’s like to be a single mother trying to navigate the education system. Leticia received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science and Public Administration from California Baptist University and a Masters’ Degree in Education Technology from Cal State Fullerton in her 30’s. Leticia has used her knowledge and experience to help hundreds of families as an Education Advocate in the Inland Empire and currently works as an Education Specialist.

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