A California high school teacher has been placed on leave after filming what she described as an “aggressive portrayal” of Native American culture.
In a video posted to Instagram, the teacher – who was not named in the video or in high school – is seen dancing wearing a headdress and raising her arms in the air while making several noises.
The description in the video states that the student, who identifies as Native American, began filming his teacher after several minutes of “battle hoop and tomahawk chopping”.
According to the Post, the video was shot in Riverside, Calif., by John W. North High School, and the student felt he “had a right to record” because he felt “violence was being done against him.”
In a statement on Thursday, the Riverside Unified School District administration confirmed that this is a recording of one of their teachers and that he has been placed on leave.
“These practices are completely unacceptable and are an offensive depiction of vast and vast Native American cultures and practices,” read the statement.
“Her actions do not represent the values of our district. The teacher has been put on leave while the district investigates. “
The teacher’s video, which quickly went viral online, prompted widespread anger and criticism.
One user on Twitter wrote, “An easy and far less racist way to teach the soh-ka-toa rule for Trig.”
“All that one class to teach Sohka Toa? Sohkahatoa is like the only thing I remember from HS, and our indigenous ancestors were not disrespected or mocked in order to teach me to remember it,” wrote another user.