Toms River teacher cleared for lesson that had students act as slaves

Officials at a New Jersey school district have cleared a teacher of wrongdoing for having students pretend to be slaves as part of a history lesson.

According to social media posts by a student, 8th-grade social studies teacher Lawrence Cuneo had Toms River Intermediate School students act as if they were picking cotton.

The student wrote that Cuneo made the sounds of a cracking whip and kicked at students' feet.

Cuneo apologized but said lessons learned from the "despicable" institution of slavery must be shared.

The district said Cuneo didn't intend to cause offense.