SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A local high school teacher has come under fire for reportedly making a gesture mocking Asians during a Zoom class.
The video was allegedly recorded by a student. During the class, the Grant Union High School teacher made “gestures mocking the Asian community,” according to school administrators who say they saw the video on Thursday.
The video prompted concern from members of the community, like Nikki – a Grant alum.
“Just imagining myself – if I were sitting back at Grant, how would I react as a student?,” she said. “It’s just completely unacceptable.
Councilmember Mai Vang also weighed in on the video – calling it cause for concern, especially in a classroom.
“This is harmful for our families, for our students, for our communities,” Vang said.
On Friday, Grant High Principal Darris Hinson issued the following statement about the video that reads, in part:
“The video is shocking and disappointing and does not represent the values held by Twin Rivers and the community. An investigation was immediately launched when we were notified about the video. Please know that Twin Rivers is committed to providing all students with a safe and civil learning environment in which all members of the school community are treated with dignity and respect. We do not tolerate any form of racism from any member of our school community.”
The president of the board of trustees of the Twin Rivers Unified School District, which Grant High is part of, issued this statement and said the incident will be taken seriously:
“The Board of Trustees in Twin Rivers was stunned and appalled by the derogatory and racist comments made by a district employee, which have been posted to social media and are prompting understandable outrage throughout our community.
“On behalf of the entire Board and District administration, I want our community to know that this matter has our full attention and is being taken very seriously.
“The Board of Trustees will do everything within its authority to address the situation. The Board of Trustees has a tremendous responsibility to set the highest standards for professional conduct, and our employees have equal responsibility to meet these standards, always.”
CBS13 has not confirmed the name of the teacher.
This incident comes after a nationwide increase in violence against Asian Americans. State lawmakers introduced a bill this week that would create a hotline and online system for reporting hate crimes.
The group Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs is also calling for Governor Gavin Newsom to create a task force to investigate and prosecute anti-Asian hate crimes. New York has created a similar task force.