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White Teacher Says She Was Fired for Racist Reason

A New York City school teacher is suing her former employer. The teacher was fired for using African American students play the part of slaves in a history class exercise. Her lawyer says her firing is an example of reverse racism.

Patricia Cummings was teaching at Middle School 118 in The Bronx, New York when a complaint caused the school to remove her from the classroom. After an investigation, she was subsequently fired over the controversial incident.

The teacher was giving a social studies lesson to seventh- and eighth-graders on slavery in September of 2016. The school has a large population of people of color, with only 3 percent of the student-body being white.

For the lesson, Cummings asked three African -American students to lie down on the floor to illustrate how slaves were kept. Students had just watched a clip of the film 'Freedom', and Cummings asked for volunteers in order to demonstrate the cramped kind of conditions in which slaves were transported on ships.

The students were lying on the floor in the front of the classroom, when Cummings said, "You see how it was to be a slave? How does it feel?"

When one girl said she felt fine, Cummings allegedly put her foot on the girl's back. "How does it feel? See how it feels to be a slave?" she repeated.

The former teacher says she didn't force kids to lay on the floor, and didn't have contact with any of the children. She felt that it was a 'teachable moment'. Cummings argues that it was a valid lesson she was teaching the children, and she's now suing for $120 million. She claims she is the victim of racism in the situation. Her attorney calls it 'reverse racism', and she’s suing, claiming reverse discrimination, defamation, negligence and other accusations.

"There is blatant racism and reverse discrimination in the public schools of New York City," said Tom Liotti, Cummings' lawyer, to the New York Daily News. "This is why white parents do not want to send their children there... The Bronx has been described by some as a ‘war zone’. White teachers who work there should get combat pay."

“It’s no longer the blacks and minorities who are being discriminated against,” argues Liotti. “It is discrimination against white teachers who are making great sacrifices to be there.”

Doug Cohen, a spokesperson for the New York Department of Education, said Cummings used 'poor judgement'.

“We’ve begun the process of firing Ms. Cummings based on an investigation of this unacceptable behavior and her performance as an educator,” Cohen said. “We’ll review this baseless lawsuit.”

Rev. Kevin McCall, Crisis Director for the National Action Network, applauds the Board of Education's decision to fire Cummings.

“The Department of Education did a thorough investigation as we asked them to. This is nothing but a case of stupidity,” McCall said to the News. “We will be sending a letter thanking the Chancellor for doing what is right.”

McCall has been working with community advocates to call for greater transparency in the investigation.

Cummings, a 37-year-old with a Master's degree in teaching from the State University of New York College of Old Westbury, has been staying off social media since September of 2017. One of her last Facebook posts blasted NFL players who kneel during the national anthem.

Source: Daily Mail
Photos: You Tube Screenshots

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