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A teacher who was fired for making black kids play slaves is suing the city for $1 billion

Cheryl Kahla
Jan 12, 2019
01:59 P.M.
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A former New York teacher has announced that she would be suing the New York Department for Education amongst others for $1 billion.

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Patricia Cummings intends to take legal action after she was fired for what the Education Department deemed as an inappropriate: a class re-enactment of slaves crossing the ocean.

The teacher says she asked her students at the William W Niles School in the Bronx to sit close together on the classroom floor.

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She says that she intended to give her class an understanding of what slaves must have felt in the confined spaces they were held.

Cummings says she started the exercise when one of her students "waddled" across the class making fun of what they had seen in a video about slavery.

She felt that it was a teaching moment to allow her students to take the matter more seriously.

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However, after the incident which happened in January last year, students accused Cummings of singling out black students in the class.

Also, they said that she pushed her foot into their backs while they were on the floor and said "How does it feel? See how it feels to be a slave."

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The school district investigated the matter and fired the teacher for what they called poor judgment.

Cummings though doesn't agree with the decision believing that none of the claims about her competency and poor judgment were proven during the investigation.

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She feels that she is unfairly discriminated against because of her race. Her attorney addressed the media while announcing her intention to sue:

"Ms. Cummings is a dedicated and competent teacher, who should never have been subjected to these false accusations, which have damaged her career and her reputation, this is a case of blatant reverse discrimination."

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She is suing the Education Department for discrimination, distress, and suffering. The department of education released a statement which stated:

"Ms. Cummings was terminated based on a thorough investigation and a review of her performance as an educator. We'll review the complaint."

Back in May, teachers from Idaho's Middleton School District also landed in hot water when they dressed up as Mexicans.

A statement released by the school said "this type of behavior has no place in education and certainly is not tolerated here at Middleton."

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