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Teacher fired after controversial slavery lesson building $1 billion class-action lawsuit

A former New York City teacher is heading to court after she was accused of forcing black students to lie on the floor while she stood on their backs during a lesson about slavery. Following her termination in October, Patricia Cummings said she was the victim of reverse discrimination and is now ramping up a $1 billion class-action lawsuit. 

“I have no career at this point,” Cummings said at a Thursday press conference, per the New York Post, describing how the allegation made against her has affected her life.

Cummings says the accusation that she stepped on students’ backs is a lie, though she acknowledges that she had her students sit close together on the floor to demonstrate the conditions on slave ships.

“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,” Cummings’s attorney, Thomas Liotti, told local affiliate ABC 7 on Thursday. “This is a case of blatant reverse discrimination.” Yahoo Lifestyle has reached out to Liotti for further comment.

The 37-year-old former teacher said at Thursday’s press conference that the testimony of a black teacher who saw the slavery lesson in question will clear her name.

Patricia Cummings says she was the victim of reverse discrimination when she was fired from her New York City teaching job. (Photo: PIX11 News via YouTube)

“Anyone who has met me knows I don’t have that bone in my body,” Cummings said. “I was brought up — you treat everybody the way you want to be treated.”

Cummings filed a $120 million lawsuit against the New York City Department of Education and other city agencies, as reported by the Post, but Liotti says they’re also building a class-action case with other alleged victims of reverse discrimination. He believes that case is worth $1 billion.

The New York City Department of Education, however, said in a statement to ABC 7 that Cummings was terminated “based on a thorough investigation and a review of her performance as an educator,” adding that it will review her complaint.

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