A Texas school district official told educators that if they brought books about the Holocaust in their classrooms, they would also have to offer “opposing” views to comply with a new state law.
In an audio clip Obtained by NBC News, Gina Peddy, executive director of curriculum and instruction for the Carroll Independent School District in Southlake, provided guidance to teachers during a training on what books teachers can keep in classroom libraries.
“We are in the middle of a political mess and you guys are in the middle of a political mess, so we have to do the best we can,” Peddy said.
The training came after the Carroll School Board she had reprimanded a fourth grade teacher after parents complained about a book on anti-racism in her class. And it followed the passage of a new Texas law that requires teachers who discuss “widely debated and currently controversial public policy or social issues” to examine issues from various points of view without giving “deference to any perspective.”
At the training, Peddy advised teachers to remember the requirements of the new law, according to the audio.. “And make sure if you have a book on the Holocaust,” he said, “that you have one that has an opposite, that you have other perspectives,” prompting one teacher to ask how you could oppose the Holocaust.
The district superintendent, Dr. Lane Ledbetter, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A district spokesperson told NBC News it was trying to help teachers comply with the legislation as educators were “in a precarious position with the latest legal requirements.” State education experts told NBC News that the bill does not address classroom libraries.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has said that HB 3979 is an effort to abolish critical theory of race in schools. Theory is an academic discipline that examines the ways in which racism operates in American law and society, but is not currently taught in American high schools.
Regardless, school board meetings in the US have seen a wave of protests over critical race theory in recent months and lawmakers in states across the country have proposed laws that would ban the teaching of “critical race theory“And topics like New York Times Project 1619.
By August, twenty-two states had passed or were considering laws to prohibit or restrict conversations about race and racism in public school classrooms. In July, Iowa passed a law that prohibits educators from teaching content that may cause “discomfort, guilt, distress, or any other form of psychological distress due to that person’s race or sex.” Florida passed a law Earlier this year, critical race theory was banned, which states that “racism is not simply the product of prejudice, but racism is ingrained in American society and its legal systems to uphold the supremacy of the people. white “.
Propaganda about critical race theory, as well as anger over Covid restrictions, have rocked school board meetings across the country, prompting the National Association of School Boards to ask Joe for federal help. Biden in response to threats and violence against school board members and education officials.