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A High School Teacher Has Been Placed On Leave After She Danced Around Waving Air Tomahawks, Laughing, And Chanting In A Fake Headdress

The California teacher can be seen offensively mimicking Native American dances and chants in the viral video.

This video of a math teacher from John W. North High School in Riverside, California has been going viral on social media:

The teacher in the video* — who has since been placed on leave — can be seen offensively mimicking Native American dances and chants, including waving air tomahawks and laughing at herself.

@corn_maiden_designs / Instagram: @corn_maiden_designs

*The school’s directory appears to have been taken down, so we are not able to confirm the name of the teacher.

She starts off by saying, "Tomahawks? I don't know, is that right?" And then proceeds to chant and jump around, even climbing on top of what appears to be a desk or table.

@corn_maiden_designs / Instagram: @corn_maiden_designs

In one part of her display, she acts like she stubbed her toe and hops off, pretending to wail in pain.

@corn_maiden_designs / Instagram: @corn_maiden_designs

As she starts a bit where she pretends to pray to a water goddess, she interrupts herself with her own laughter. She can also be heard saying, "Because obviously, this is ridiculous."

@corn_maiden_designs / Instagram: @corn_maiden_designs

She then laughs at herself again, saying, "This is too funny," after she grabs some rocks that are supposed to be from a rock god.

@corn_maiden_designs / Instagram: @corn_maiden_designs

The video was filmed by a Native American student and shared by a woman named Akalei Brown on Instagram.

Akalei says the student filmed the incident because he "felt that violence was being committed against him and he had the right to record"
@corn_maiden_designs / Instagram: @corn_maiden_designs

BuzzFeed spoke to Akalei, who is a spokesperson for the family of the student, as they wish to remain anonymous for their safety. "I am of Kanaka-Maoli and Taos Pueblo descent and a graduate of the Native American Studies program at UC Davis. I currently serve as a Native History/Culture consultant and am an advocate for foster youth."

"After watching the full six-minute video, I was left shaking. I may have left out pertinent details, but my hands were shaking so hard that’s all I could manage to clip to post. Yes, there is more footage. I felt it necessary to share this video with the world so they could have a small glimpse into the type of abuses Native children face in US schools every day," she said.

@corn_maiden_designs / Instagram: @corn_maiden_designs

Akalei also said this situation is not a stand-alone scenario. "Halloween is just around the corner. Every year there are news reports of Native youth having their braids cut off at school by non-Native students. This is a reality for Native people in the US, and we’re not going to take it sitting down anymore. We’re standing up for our children and setting a new standard for the treatment of Native people," she added.

John W. North High School has released the following statement to their Instagram account. While the teacher has been placed on leave, it is unclear if it is paid or not.

Jose Medina, chair of the Assembly Committee on Higher Education in California, also released the following statement on his Twitter account.

.@AsmCervantes, @AsmJamesRamos, and I released the following statement on the incident at John W. North High School in Riverside.

Twitter: @AsmJoseMedina

BuzzFeed has reached out to John W. North High School for comment.