Candice Reed: Riverside, California, Math Teacher Video Goes Viral

candice reed

Instagram Candice Reed video screenshots

Candice Reed is a Riverside, California, math teacher, who is under fire for donning a fake Native American headdress and dancing around a classroom while doing tomahawk chops.

The video of Reed dancing around the classroom at John W. North high school in Riverside, CA, has gone viral, including on TikTok.

“A recording of one of our teachers has been widely circulated on social media,” the Riverside Unified School District Administration wrote in a statement. “These behaviors are completely unacceptable and an offensive depiction of the vast and expansive Native American cultures and practices. Her actions do not represent the values of our district. The teacher has been placed on leave while the District conducts an investigation.”

Heavy has reached out to the school principal and district superintendent to seek additional comment. In the video, Reed dances and hops around the room, chanting and screeching, “SOH CAH TOA” and doing fake tomahawk chants.

Here’s what you need to know:


A Native American Student Recorded the Video in His Math Class

 

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A post shared by Akalei Brown (@corn_maiden_designs)

Akalei Brown, who defines herself as “LA Native: Taos-Kanaka Maoli. Historian – Foster Youth Advocate – Textile Artist,” shared the video on her Instagram page.

“Yesterday a Native American student filmed this video in his Math class!” she wrote.

“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.’ 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?'” wrote Brown.

“I am sharing this video because these behaviors can no longer be swept under the rug! As adults, we must stand up for our youth! Please help us in getting the word out and SHARE! This student has a Native first name and outwardly identifies as Native American. We need to end abuse & discrimination against indigenous youth in schools! There is no excuse for this type of behavior. We’re not in the 1960s anymore, she should know better.”

She then included information for the school’s principal and the superintendent of the district.


The School’s Yearbook Indicates Reed Has Done This Before

People shared a 2012 photo of Reed in a similar headdress in a school yearbook, and a screenshot that says, “Dancing from one end of the room to the other, math teacher Candice Reed wears an Indian headdress to emphasize geometry basics. ‘I find that if I tell them a story using math along the way, it’s like a memory device’! It just may stick with them forever.”

“Y’all are gonna have a bad morning. Candice Reed needs to realize this is not how we teach native culture. Ever. The utter lack of respect is stupifying,” a man wrote on Twitter.

The Riverside Unified School District values diversity, equity and inclusion, and does not condone vehavior against these values,” the district wrote. “We are deeply committed to implementing inclusive practices and policies that honor the rich diversity of our district and the greater region. We will be working with our students, families, staff and community to regain your trust.”


People Criticized Reed on Social Media

The response on social media to the Reed video was very negative.

“Anyone see the fuct up video of that white teacher in California, wearing a head dress, dancing around, and doing the tomahawk chop in a classroom, and a Native student recorded her. I just watched on Facebook, and I literally puked in my mouth,” wrote one woman on Twitter. “Not even a headdress, a couple feathers made out of construction paper, suppose to look like a headdress.”

People criticized Reed, saying the dance was racist.

“Fire Candice Reed please,” wrote another person on Twitter.

People also wrote angry comments on the school district’s Facebook page. “Hoping the district makes the right decision and terminates her employment. There is no way a teacher should think this type of behavior is acceptable. The fact that you have allowed it for YEARS is unfathomable. DO BETTER,” wrote one.

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