Teacher in Southern California Placed on Leave After Mimicking Native American Dance

High School Math Teacher Mimics Indigenous Culture


On October 21st, 2021, a video of a teacher was taken by a student. In the video, a high school math teacher wears a headdress and mimics a Native American dance. She stands on tables, mocks prayers, dances, jumps, and shouts, “Soh-Cah-Toa!” Another video can be found on CNN.

Many videos of the incident can be found, but they all have one thing in common, the teacher repeatedly mocks Native American Culture. In multiple clips you can hear her say, “water goddess” and “rock god” with her hands folded in prayer. After “praying” she continues with, “because obviously, this is ridiculous.” 

CNN News predicts, “The video appears to have been recorded by a student in Riverside, California, during a math lesson and posted on social media by another person.” CNN has tried multiple times to contact the person who posted the videos, but has so far been unsuccessful. 

A statement was sent out by RUSD (Riverside Unified School District) explaining their view on the incident. Their first paragraph states, “These behaviors are completely unacceptable and an offensive depiction of the vast and expansive Native American cultures and practices.”


(Part of the RUSD statement found on CBS News)

According to Los Angeles Times, Dee Dee Manzanares Ybarra, the director of the American Indian Movement‘s Southern California chapter and tribal chair of the Rumšen Am:a Tur:ataj Ohlone says, “Community members organized a protest Thursday afternoon in response to the video.”

A post from Iviviq states, “Yesterday, a Native American student filmed this video in his Math class. After several minutes of the teacher “war hooping & tomahawk chopping,” the student began filming because he “felt that violence was being committed against him and he had the right to record.”