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JOINT STATEMENT: Legislators Respond to Incident at John W. North High School

For immediate release:

(RIVERSIDE) — Assemblymember Jose Medina (D-Riverside), Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes (D-Corona), and Assemblymember James Ramos (D-Highland), released the following statement in response to a recorded incident at John W. North High School:

“We fully condemn the actions that took place at John W. North High School earlier this week. The teacher’s behavior was highly inappropriate and offensive.

“It is damaging and disheartening to see Native American and indigenous culture represented in such a trite and insensitive way. However, this is not an isolated incident, as such teaching practices, even in math classes, have been used across the nation. It is time that we stop this behavior.

“Just weeks ago, the State of California made ethnic studies a required course across California high schools. 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. We need to ensure that students learn about themselves in positive, accurate, and appropriate ways.

“As members of the legislature and members of our community, we are fully committed to working with Riverside Unified School District to make sure that appropriate actions are taken and incidents like this never happen again.”

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Sabrina Cervantes is a mother who proudly represents the 60th District of the California State Assembly, which encompasses the cities of Corona, Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Norco, a portion of Riverside, and the unincorporated communities of Coronita, El Cerrito, and Home Gardens. Cervantes serves as Chair of the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy.