A school administrator in Texas told teachers that in order to comply with a new state law, if they are teaching a book on the Holocaust, they should also include a book that has “opposing views” or “other views,” NBC News reported.
In a recording of a meeting last Friday, which a teacher from the Carroll Independent School District provided to NBC News, Gina Peddy, the district’s executive director of curriculum and education, is heard training teachers on how to conform to a new texan law this largely seeks to prevent teachers from talking about white supremacy, racism and privilege in classrooms.
“We are in the middle of a political mess, ”says Peddy in the recording, later adding, “No one knows how to navigate these waters.”
“Make sure that if you have a book on the Holocaust, that you have one that opposes one, that has other perspectives,” says Peddy, as shocked explosions and whispers are heard in the room.
“What?” said a teacher. “How do you oppose the Holocaust? Another asks.
The school district did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment – including clarification on what exactly constitutes an “opposing” perspective on the Holocaust, other than Holocaust denial.
District spokesperson Karen Fitzgerald told NBC News that “Texas teachers are in a precarious position with the latest legal requirements” and that “the district’s goal is to support our teachers by ensuring they have all the professional development, resources and materials they need” .
“Our district does not have and will not demand that the books be removed,” she added.
The recent Texas The law to which the administrator responds, House Bill 3979, requires teachers who discuss “widely debated and currently controversial issues” in the classroom to explore them from “diverse and conflicting perspectives without to care about a particular point of view ”.
The Holocaust, namely Nazi Germany murder of 6 million Jews – is not a “widely debated” or “currently controversial” issue. Texas law also makes no mention of what books teachers should have students read.
Texas is just one of many states – including Tennessee, Iowa, Idaho and Oklahoma – pass laws this year to limit the way teachers discuss systemic racism in public schools, often under the guise of ban the “critical theory of race” classrooms. Republican lawmakers are pushing similar bills in nearly two dozen states.
Although not all of the laws adopted explicitly mention critical race theory – a college-level academic discipline focused on how racism is embedded in the country’s legal, political and social institutions – they’re all written in similar language meant to stifle teaching about racism, privilege and supremacy White.
Texas law, in particular, also directs social studies teachers in K-12 public schools not to discuss in class the concepts that “an individual should be discriminated against or receive unfavorable treatment only.” or partly because of the individual’s race ”or that“ an individual must experience discomfort, guilt, anguish or some other form of psychological distress ”depending on their race or of his sex.
Teachers who spoke to HuffPost in June condemned laws in Texas and other states as attempts to “money laundering” story who also drive to confusion over what they can and cannot teach.