“It’s a scandal,” Cummings’ attorney Tom Liotti said. “There is blatant racism and reverse discrimination in the public schools of New York City. This is why white parents do not want to send their children there.” And Liotti “It’s no longer the blacks and minorities who are being discriminated against…It is discrimination against white teachers who are making great sacrifices to be there.” To hear Cummings tell the story, she was merely using the opportunity given to her as a “teachable moment” after she showed a brief clip of the movie “Freedom.” Cummings said she asked for four students to volunteer to sit close to one another to demonstrate the “cramped conditions,” aboard slave ships, but refuted claims that children were made to lay on the floor and denied having contact with any of the students. Still, New York Department of Education spokesperson Doug Cohen said that the invesetigation into Cummings’ alleged behavior showed that she did use poor judgement.
“We’ve begun the process of firing Ms. Cummings based on an investigation of this unacceptable behavior and her performance as an educator,” Cohen said. “We’ll review this baseless lawsuit.”