A math teacher in Southern California dubbed the “SohCahToa Teacher” was placed on leave after a video went viral of the educator mimicking Native American culture to teach Trigonometry.

During a lesson, the “SohCahToa Teacher” wore a faux headdress and marched up and down the aisles of student desks chanting “SohCahToa,” which is a mnemonic used to remember the math for sine, cosine, and tangent.

The offensive video, which goes on for over two minutes, was secretly recorded by one of the students in the class. Some other students are seen with their heads down as the math teacher makes references to a “rock god” and a “water goddess” in the bizarre dance.

Although the “SohCahToa Teacher” has yet to be identified, the Riverside Unified School District in California confirmed that one of its teachers had been suspended over the viral video and that an investigation was under way to find out what happened.

“These behaviors are completely unacceptable and an offensive depiction of the vast and expansive Native American cultures and practices,” the school district told CNN. “Her actions do not represent the values of our district.”

Riverside said that it would seek to rebuild trust in their school’s community and that it was committed to implementing “inclusive practices and policies.”

District spokesperson Diana Meza later confirmed that the incident occurred at John W. North High School, stating that “It’s not who we are as a district, nor as a school.”

Students sat quietly and watched in shock as she marched around the classroom and on top of desks, presumably knowing how viral the video would go once shared online to Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter, where it blew up overnight.

“Obviously this video has gone viral,” Meza said, but “RUSD prides itself on valuing diversity and equity.”

In the video, the math teacher can be seen making “war hooping” noises, mimicking tomahawk chopping, and performing many offensive actions that go far outside the trigonometry lessons’ bounds of reason.

Students of John W. North High School protested on Friday, according to TikTok user @splashmare, whose real name is Chris. “My school boutta have a protest over a racist teacher making fun of Native Americans while saying So Cah Toa,” he wrote in the video.


##xyzbca ##fyp

♬ original sound – Chris

“My school had like four or five fights today,” he said in a second video shared after the protest started outside. Many students called for the teacher to be fired, but it was unclear who the opposing antagonists were. “There were six or seven officers over there… I’m transferring schools ’cause this school is just crazy, like I don’t know.”

Many State Assembly members commented on the video, calling it “highly inappropriate and offensive.”

A recent bill signed by lawmakers in the California is set to make “ethnic studies” a required course for students in California, which Assembly members hope will teach children and educators to be more respectful of other cultures going forward.

“It is damaging and disheartening to see Native American and indigenous culture represented in such a trite and insensitive way,” a statement from the State Assembly read.

“Unfortunately, for students of color, moments such as the one at John W. North High School are the few in which their heritage is represented in the classroom, despite how inaccurate and wrong they are,” said Jose Medina, a California lawmaker and a lifelong resident of the San Manuel Indian Reservation in San Bernardino County.

“The inclusion of ethnic studies in the high school curriculum is long overdue,” Medina wrote. “Students cannot have a full understanding of the history of our state and nation without the inclusion of the contributions and struggles of Native Americans, African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans.”

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill into law on Oct. 8, but classes will not start until the 2029-2030 school year at the earliest.