Teacher Fired Over Slavery Lesson Plans To Sue For $1 Billion
A white public school teacher is planning to sue New York City for $1 billion after she was fired over a controversial lesson on slavery.
Patricia Cummings was fired back in October after complaints about the highly unorthodox teaching method, which left some students feeling humiliated and singled out. She was accused of having black students lie on the floor while she stepped on their backs among other things, leading to her demise.
But on Thursday, Cummings insisted that she initiated the lesson in her class at MS 118 in the Bronx in good faith–and only one student and her parent out of the entire class objected.
Her firing–and all of the online criticism to go with it–has rendered this woman permanently unemployable, she said at a press conference alongside her lawyer, Thomas Liotti. “I have no career at this point,” she claimed.
Cummings filed a $120 million lawsuit in Suffolk County, where she lives, against a slew of defendants ranging from the city Department of Education to Mayor Bill de Blasio to media outlets. But Liotti said they plan to build a $1 billion class-action case with other teachers claiming similar forms of reverse discrimination.
Cummings said she was initially cleared after an internal school investigation but that the case was revived after media reports on the incident. The teacher also said her suit will be supported by the testimony of a black teacher at the school who witnessed the lesson and reportedly found it effective. Sure, Jan.
“That 20 seconds of a teachable moment changed my life,” she said, also adding that she was bombarded with emails calling for her murder and dubbing her a racist. “Anyone who has met me knows I don’t have that bone in my body,” she claimed. “I was brought up — you treat everybody the way you want to be treated.”
Liotta argued on Thursday that the lesson only drew objections because of his client’s race.“How does the City of New York expect to attract effective teachers when people like Patricia Cummings have to go through this kind of abuse? It’s outrageous.”
The Education Department initially reassigned Cummings before firing her after an investigation, according to agency spokesman Doug Cohen. “Ms. Cummings was terminated based on a thorough investigation and a review of her performance as an educator,” Cohen said Thursday. “We’ll review the complaint.”