A video showing Candice Reed, a teacher from John W North High School in Riverside, California, wearing Native American headgear and carrying out a ‘tomahawk chop’ dance in class has been slammed online.
According to Instagram user Shadae Johnson, the video was filmed by a Native American student who felt “violence was being committed against him”.
Candice Reed’s video explored
The video sees Reed performing dance moves to students while wearing headgear consisting of paper with a couple of feathers attached.
Following a brief introduction, Candice does the ‘tomahawk chop” in the classroom in front of students and even stands on top of a bench at one point as she continues to dance.
In the caption for the original video, Johnson explained: “This was taken at John W North High School in Riverside, CA. At first the student noticed the teacher was pulling out a fake feather headdress and when she put it on he thought, ‘what is she going to do?’”
According to the post, Reed works as a maths teacher at John W North High School.
Indigenous activists slam teacher
Indigenous activists including Johnson have called Reed out for her behaviour.
Johnson says in her post: “I am sharing this video because these behaviours can no longer be swept under the rug!
“We need to end discrimination and violence against indigenous youth in schools! We’re not in the 1960s any more, she should know better!”
Meanwhile, Twitter user Iviviq, who goes by the handle @UrbanInuk, tweeted the video and wrote: “Not even a headdress, (it is) a couple of feathers made out of construction paper supposed to look like a headdress.”
Iviviq said she wanted to “puke” when she first watched the video. She tweeted: “I just watched on Facebook, and I literally puked in my mouth.”
Twitter reacts to viral video
A great many people on Twitter have taken offence at the dance.
One tweeted: “Dear Candice Reed, this is beyond cringe and incredibly racist.”
Another wrote: “Math – why is she doing this?! It’s not history or social studies.”
Another Twitter user stated: “What am I watching? What is the lesson? What is the learning objective? Why is she using racist performance in her classroom? How is this even an adult?”
Candice Reed and John W North High School have yet to comment on the video.