LISTEN: Texas schools official tells teachers they must offer 'other perspectives' when teaching the Holocaust
A Southlake, Texas school official is under fire after telling teachers if they have a book in the classroom about the Holocaust they must also teach "other perspectives."
“Just try to remember the concepts of [House Bill] 3979," Gina Peddy, the executive director of curriculum and instruction for the Carroll Independent School District, said in a training session Friday, as the recording (below) from NBC News shows.
“And make sure that if you have a book on the Holocaust, that you have one that has an opposing, that has other perspectives," she told teachers in a training session on the new law.
“How do you oppose the Holocaust?" one teacher asked.
“Believe me," Peddy said. “That's come up."
At issue is a new Texas state ordinance drafted and rushed into law after parents complained about books teaching about racism.
"The training came four days after the Carroll school board, responding to a parent's complaint, voted to reprimand a fourth grade teacher who had kept an anti-racism book in her classroom," NBC News reports.
Update from Southlake. Last night the school board voted 3-2 to reprimand a 4th grade teacher for having a copy of "This Book Is Anti-Racist" by Tiffany Jewell in her class. After a student brought it home, her parents complained that it violated their "morals and faith."
— Mike Hixenbaugh (@Mike_Hixenbaugh) October 5, 2021
“Teachers are literally afraid that we're going to be punished for having books in our classes," one elementary school teacher told NBC News. “There are no children's books that show the 'opposing perspective' of the Holocaust or the 'opposing perspective' of slavery. Are we supposed to get rid of all of the books on those subjects?"
Conservatives across the nation have been attacking and threatening school boards over the nearly non-existent teaching of Critical Race Theory, and are demanding all teaching about racism end.
The debate in Southlake over which books should be allowed in schools is part of a broader national movement led by parents opposed to lessons on racism, history and LGBTQ issues that some conservatives have falsely branded as critical race theory. A group of Southlake parents has been fighting for more than a year to block new diversity and inclusion programs at Carroll, one of the top-ranked school districts in Texas.
That new law, which eliminates the requirement of teaching "the history of Native Americans," also eliminates the requirement to teach about the writing of the founding "mothers and other founding persons" except founding fathers. It also eliminates from the curriculum Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," and the "I Have a Dream" speech, along with pages of other important historical documents.
NEW: A school administrator in Southlake, Texas, advised teachers last week that if they have a book about the Holocaust in their classroom, they should also have a book with an "opposing" perspective.
Listen to the audio recording obtained by @NBCNews: https://t.co/vS0IjlROMu pic.twitter.com/yPtM1ncjgV — NBC News (@NBCNews) October 14, 2021
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