Bronx teacher announces intent to sue city over slavery lesson suspension

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THE BRONX -

A teacher in the Bronx is suing the Board of Education for her suspension over an alleged lesson relating to slavery.

Patricia Cummings, 37, spoke Wednesday morning about her intent to sue New York City after she say her life and reputation were ruined by a student's claims.

Cummings denies she singled out black students and ordered them to lay on the ground while she put her knee into their backs to imitate slave treatment.

She says she played a clip from the movie "Freedom" in class that shows slaves sitting in close quarters. Cummings says a student mocked the clip, saying 'I could sit like that, that's not a problem.'

In response, Cummings asked for volunteers to sit on the floor. She says she never stepped on or touched any students.

Cummings claims the student making the allegation was not in class that day.

"I feel completely violated. All I ever wanted was to be a teacher, and I'm ruined because of all this," she says.

After speaking to a dozen students, the Department of Investigations has since concluded the accusation that Cummings kneed a student "has not been corroborated and is unsubstantiated."

Cummings' attorney says this is a blatant case of reverse discrimination and that the city and those responsible need to be taught a lesson.

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