White Middle School Teacher Under Fire For Cruel Slavery Lesson
Can you imagine sending your children to school only to have their white teacher make them lie on the floor, then step on them, to experience what it’s like to be SLAVES?
According to NY Daily News reports Middle School 118 teacher Patricia Cummings is under fire for her unorthodox teaching methods. Students say about two weeks ago the teacher, who is white, had students in multiple seventh-grade classes lie on the floor as part of a lesson on the Middle Passage, where Africans were kidnapped and brought to America during the slave trade.
“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 the classroom for several days after the incident, but returned to class and was in school Thursday. Cummings, who makes $68,934 a year, was reassigned away from children later in the day after the Daily News contacted the city Education Department about her controversial 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.
Cummings students say she delivered the lesson after showing a video of slaves being beaten, tortured and thrown over the side of a ship.
“She had students lie on the floor,” said another kid who was in one of the lessons. “She was measuring the length and width to show how little space slaves had in the ship. It was strange.”
Cummings declined to speak with the NY Daily News when contacted.
If your child was one of her students, how would you want the situation handled?