Demonstrators will converge on City Hall Tuesday to demand Mayor de Blasio take action following the Daily News’ explosive report of a racist lesson on slavery at a Bronx public school.
Middle School 118 teacher Patricia Cummings singled out black students during class in January and told them to lie on the floor for a lesson on slavery — and then stepped on their backs to show them what slavery felt like, staffers and students said.
Cummings was removed from her job but remains on the city payroll while her actions are being investigated by city Education Department officials.
Leaders from parent and student groups across the city said the incident is proof city teachers need anti-bias training and de Blasio needs to act to provide it.
Bronx teacher sparks outrage for cruel slavery lesson
And now, the city’s largest parent group, the NYC Coalition for Educational, Justice, is taking that message directly to City Hall.
“We want City Hall to do something about this. We want to see some leadership,” said Natasha Capers, a Brooklyn mother of two and coordinator of the NYC Coalition for Educational Justice, which is organizing Tuesday’s protest.
Capers said about 50 demonstrators and a number of elected officials and their representatives are expected for the protest on the steps of City Hall.
Just 450 out of 77,000 city teachers are getting dedicated anti-bias training this year under a new program begun by the city in 2017.
But teachers receive lessons in culturally responsive education and anti-bias training in other settings as well, Education Department officials said.
De Blasio spokeswoman Olivia Lapeyrolerie said Cummings’ alleged actions are unacceptable.
“There is no place for this behavior in schools,” Lapeyrolerie said. “We’ve greatly expanded the scope of anti-bias training and will continue to make this resource available to educators.”
Send a Letter to the Editor