WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A high school teacher was seen mocking the appearance of Asians during her Zoom class last week.
- In a video, she can be seen stretching her eyes with her fingers, while suggesting that it’s a way to tell Asians apart.
- The school district has denounced the teacher’s actions and launched an investigation.
California high school teacher Nichole Burkett has been heavily criticized after mocking Asians during a Zoom lesson last week.
Burkett teaches Spanish at Sacramento’s Grant Union High School. She is also the adviser for the class of 2022 and the club adviser for Lao Xang Noy and KPOP. A video of her Zoom class showed her using her fingers to stretch her eyes in different directions, indicating it as a way to tell Asians apart.
Burkett said, “If your eyes go up, you’re Chinese. If they go down, they’re Japanese. If they’re just straight, you don’t know.”
A shocked viewer can be heard saying, “I should leave your class right now!”
The Twin Rivers United School District has since launched an investigation. Spokesperson Zenobia Gerald described Burkett’s actions as “shocking” and “disappointing” in a statement to the Sacramento Bee.
Gerald declared, “The video … 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.”
A similar statement was issued and circulated among the school’s staff members by Principal Darris Hinson.
An email associated with Burkett responded, “I have been advised to not make any statements until my union representative gets back to me.”
“I love teaching and supporting all students at Grant,” Burkett had written on her staff biography on the school website.
Source: New York Post