SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – A teacher at Grant Union High School has come under fire after making racist gestures.
Stunning and appalling is how Twin Rivers Unified School District is describing the gesture and comments made by a district employee.
A video has circulated across social media of a Grant Union High School teacher using offensive slant eyes to depict Asians during an online class.
“I am disappointed about it,” said Nathanael Retena, who has two daughters back in Guatemala and he was shocked to see this happened at a school. “That’s a teacher? Oh my goodness, if I brought my family to this country, I don’t want to put my daughters in these kinds of schools.”
Lee Lo on the other hand, who graduated from Grant in 2011, isn’t surprised by what she saw.
“What we are seeing here is nothing new for our students. But rather our students are now equipped with the technology to document the anti-Asian and racist activities that they have always experienced,” Lo said.
She tells FOX40 she dealt with racist remarks, mostly from other students.
She is one of the people behind the change.org petition asking TRUSD to condemn anti-Asian and racist behavior.
They are hoping the district meets a few demands, such as issuing a formal apology from the teacher and the district, make the teacher engage in meaningful community service, adopt ethnic studies district-wide and fund Asian and Pacific Islander youth development programs.
“It wasn’t something I was shocked or surprised, but just very disappointed,” said Sacramento city Council member Mai Vang.
For Vang, this is just another incident on top of others that have happened to Asian Americans. She adds this is a teachable moment for the community.
“Especially because this person was an educator and one of our neighborhood schools in the heart of North Sacramento where there is a large Asian American community,” she explained.
Vang says that the community as a whole has to acknowledge the harm and trauma its minority community is experiencing so that we can move on.
“Until we recognize the humanity of all people we will continue to see this, so we have a lot of work ahead,” she told FOX40.
Lo said she heard from other alumni that the teacher who made those gestures is a great teacher and doesn’t believe that teacher should be fired, but instead put through the proper training before being brought back.
FOX40 reached out to the teacher in question, but she could not be reached for comment.