Teachers in one district in Texas asked to offer ‘conflicting’ views on the Holocaust
SOUTHLAKE, Texas (AP) – A Texas school district administrator told teachers that if they have books on the Holocaust in their classrooms, they should also have books that offer “opposing” or “opposing views”. others âon the subject.
Gina Peddy, executive director of programs and education at the Carroll Independent School District in Southlake, Dallas-Fort Worth, released the guideline last week during a training session on books teachers can have in their class libraries. A staff member secretly made an audio recording of the training session and shared it with NBC News, who broke history.
In the recording, Peddy told teachers to remember a new Texas law that requires teachers to present multiple perspectives when discussing “widely debated and currently controversial” issues. She said, âAnd make sure that if you have a book on the Holocaust, that you have one that has an opponent, that has other perspectives. “
âHow do you oppose the Holocaust? Asked a teacher.
âBelieve me,â Peddy said. “It happened.”
Peddy did not respond to a message requesting comment left by The Associated Press on Friday.
Texas and some other Republican-controlled states moved this year to regulate what can be taught about race-related ideas in public schools and colleges amid the racial calculation across the country after George Floyd was murdered by police last year.
Many Republicans have relied on the teaching of “critical race theory,” which maintains that laws preserved the inequality of treatment of people on the basis of race and that the country was founded on the theft of race. land and work.
Karen Fitzgerald, spokesperson for the Carroll School District, said in a written statement to NBC News that the district is trying to help teachers comply with the law. She said the district interpretation requires teachers to provide balanced perspectives during classroom instruction and in the books offered in the classroom. She said the district would not require the books to be removed.
Fitzgerald said teachers who are unsure of a specific book “should consult with their campus principal, the campus team and program coordinators for appropriate next steps.”
Clay Robison, spokesperson for the Texas State Teachers Association, a union representing educators, said the district’s guidelines for books are an “overreaction” and a “misinterpretation” of the law. Three other Texas education policy experts agreed.
“We find it reprehensible for an educator to demand from a denialist equal treatment with the facts of history,” said Robison. “It’s absurd. It’s worse than absurd. And this law doesn’t require it.
Republican State Senator Bryan Hughes, who drafted the Texas bill, denied that it requires teachers to provide opposing views on what he called the issues of “good and good.” evil âor to get rid of books that offer a perspective on the Holocaust.
“I’m glad we can have this discussion to help clarify what Bill says, because that’s not what Bill says,” Hughes said.
The school district posted a statement on Facebook from Superintendent Lane Ledbetter offering an “apology for the online article and the news.” He said Peddy’s advice to teachers “by no means meant that the Holocaust was nothing less than a terrible event in history.”
He also said: “Further, we recognize that there are no two sides to the Holocaust” and “we also understand that this bill does not require an opposing view on historical facts” . He said the district would endeavor to clarify teachers’ expectations and “apologize for any damage or confusion this has caused.”
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