SOUTHLAKE, TX — Students reading about the murder of nearly 6 million Jews in the Nazi Holocaust should also given access to “opposing” perspectives, a top administrator at a Texas school district said, setting off a firestorm of criticism and fear among teachers.
Gina Peddy the executive director of curriculum and instruction for the Carroll Independent School District, made the remarks in a training with teachers last week to determine what books they should have in their classrooms, NBC News reported.
The staff meeting was called after the school board voted to reprimand a fourth grade teacher who had an anti-racism book in her classroom, the NBC report said.
In an audio recording of the meeting obtained by NBC, Peddy said her recommendation that an opposing perspective be offered would put the school district in compliance with a new Texas law targeting critical race theory.
Peddy said teachers should take care to offer multiple perspectives during classroom lessons on issues that are “widely debated and currently controversial.”
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“And,” she said, “make sure that if you have a book on the Holocaust that you have one that has an opposing, that has other perspectives.”
Texas House Bill 3979, which took effect last month, not only requires numerous points of view, it requires they be presented “without giving deference to any one perspective.”
When a teacher asked how an opposing view of the Holocaust could be offered, Peddy responded: “Believe me. That’s come up.”
Lane Ledbetter, the Carroll ISD superintendent, apologized, saying the school district recognizes “there are not two sides of the Holocaust.”
“During the conversations with teachers during last week’s meeting, the comments made were in no way to convey that the Holocaust was anything less than a terrible event in history,” Ledbetter said in a statement on Facebook.
The new law, he said, “does not require an opposing viewpoint on historical facts.”
“As a district, we will work to add clarity to our expectations for teachers and once again apologize for any hurt or confusion this has caused.”