Bronx teacher sparks outrage for using black students in cruel slavery lesson

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Bronx teacher sparks outrage for using black students in cruel slavery lesson

Post by Guest on Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:50 am

Kids and parents say this Bronx teacher needs a lesson — in racism.

Middle School 118 teacher Patricia Cummings shocked and traumatized children in her social studies classes when she singled out black students and told them to lie on the floor for a lesson on U.S. slavery — and then stepped on their backs to show them what slavery felt like, students and a staffer said.

Students said Cummings, who is white, pulled the insensitive stunt in multiple seventh-grade classes as part of a unit on the infamous Middle Passage, in which Africans were kidnapped and brought to America as part of the slave trade.

Kids and adults in Cummings’ school, where the student body is 81% black and Hispanic and just 3% white, were horrified by the offensive lessons they said occurred roughly two weeks ago.

“It was a lesson about slavery and the Triangle Trade,” said one of Cummings’ students, who asked to remain anonymous.

“She picked three of the black kids,” the boy said, and instructed them to get on the floor in front of the class. “She said, ‘You see how it was to be a slave?’ She said, ‘How does it feel?’ ”

When a girl on the floor made an uncomfortable joke and said she felt fine, Cummings stepped on her back, the student said.

“She put her foot on her back and said ‘How does it feel?’” the student said. “ ‘See how it feels to be a slave?’ ”
Cummings was removed from her post for a couple of days following the incident but then returned to class and was in school Thursday.

However, the $68,934-a-year teacher was reassigned away from children later Thursday, after the Daily News contacted the city Education Department about her slavery lesson.

“While the investigation has not been completed, these are deeply disturbing allegations, and the alleged behavior has no place in our schools or in society,” said Education Department spokeswoman Toya Holness.

MS 118 Principal Giulia Cox declined to comment.


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