Bronx Teacher Steps on Backs of Black Students in Slavery ‘Lesson’

Bronx Teacher Steps on Backs of Black Students in Slavery ‘Lesson’

"You see how it was to be a slave?"

by Zahara Hill, February 2, 2018

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A Bronx instructor was temporarily removed from the classroom after employing cruel and extreme methods to teach a lesson on slavery.

About two weeks ago, Patricia Cummings, a White history teacher at The William W. Niles School, reportedly singled out several Black students in each of her classes and instructed them to lie on the ground.

“You see how it was to be a slave?” Cummings asked her seventh-grade class during a lesson on the Middle Passage.

One of the students being used for the lesson joked she felt fine. In response, Cummings stepped on her back and said “How does it feel? See how it feels to be a slave?”

“She had students lie on the floor,” one student said according to the New York Daily News. “She was measuring the length and width to show how little space slaves had in the ship. It was strange.”

Spokeswoman for New York City’s Education Department Toya Holness said the incident continues to be investigated. But Cummings was back in the classroom as of Thursday.

“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,” Holness said.



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