Protesters demand sacking of Riverside teacher Candice Reed for imitating Native American dance, wearing fake headdress on video

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RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) – Protesters stood outside the Riverside Unified School District office on Thursday afternoon, calling on district officials to respond to their demands for action after a viral video showed a teacher performing a simulated Native American dance while wearing a fake headdress.

“She went too far, and you know, she must have been under a rock not to know how offensive it is,” said Dee Dee Manzanares Ybarra of the American Indian Movement of Southern California.

The video shows Candice Reed, a math teacher at John North High School, dancing and mimicking hash movements during a lesson. A student captured a video of Reed on her cell phone as she taught a “SohCahToa” trigonometry mnemonic to the class.

“I watched the video and it hurt me a bit, and it was like – wow, it actually happened,” said Landin Yglesias, 13.

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Yglesias belongs to the Cahuilla band of mission Indians with two others. He came from Redlands to attend and support the protest with his mother who became emotional as she discussed her reaction to the now viral video.

“He takes his culture very seriously. I’m glad he wasn’t in this class. He would have been so offended and hurt. I was hurt for him and for his people,” said Ruby Yglesias.

Protest organizers are calling on the school district to end Reed, implement in-class Native American diversity and history training for staff and students.

“The main objective is to hold the teacher accountable for the lack of sensitivity shown in the classroom as well as for the implementation of the teaching of Native American history and (critical race theory) in the classroom. “said Paulina Kiriakos.

Part of that responsibility they want is for Reed to apologize.

“She has not yet issued a public apology. She must apologize to all of her victims as this is emotional trauma, humiliation and disrespect,” said the woman. protester Betty Perez.

The RUSD did not comment on the latest rally, but issued a statement last week.

He said in part: “These behaviors are totally unacceptable and constitute an offensive representation of the vast and vast Native American cultures and practices. His actions do not represent the values ​​of our district. The teacher has been put on leave while the district investigates. . “

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