Texas public school administrator Gina Peddy of the Carroll Independent School District has ordered teachers in the school district that if they have books on the Holocaust in their classrooms, they should also have books with an "opposing" point of view.
The executive director remarked about teaching kids "other perspectives" on the Holocaust during a training session with teachers regarding the books that are allowed in Carroll school district classrooms, located in Southlake, a suburban school district not far from Fort Worth.
According to NBC News, the teachers' training was conducted after the school board decided to reprimand an elementary teacher when a parent complained that the teacher had an anti-racism book in her classroom. Another Carroll staff member secretly recorded the Friday training in which Peddy spoke about "opposing views" on the Holocaust and leaked it to the media.
"Just try to remember the concepts of [House Bill] 3979 and make sure that if you have a book on the Holocaust, that you have one that has an opposing, that has other perspectives," Peddy ordered the teachers, referring to a new Texas measure that requires teachers to present multiple perspectives when discussing "widely debated and currently controversial" issues, NBC News reported.
When asked about Peddy's remarks on requiring teachers to present "opposing" views on the Holocaust through books with "other perspectives," Carroll spokeswoman Karen Fitzgerald said the school district was merely trying to assist teachers in ensuring they comply with Texas Senate Bill 3, a new state law and an updated version that will take effect in December. The measure will require teachers to present balanced perspectives in both classroom discussions and books that are available to students in the class during their free time.
Fitzgerald admitted how the school district recognized the "precarious position" that teachers are in given the new Senate Bill 3. But she said that the goal of the school district was to provide support to their teachers to ensure that they have the proper "professional development, resources and materials" they needed to carry out their duties as educators. Fitzgerald added that the school district "has not and will not mandate books be removed nor will we mandate that classroom libraries be unavailable."
The Texas public school administration's response drew ire from some, specifically Clay Robison, spokesman for Texas State Teachers Association. He denounced the school district's claims, arguing that the new Texas law does not explicitly order such books with disinformation on the Holocaust to be in classroom libraries and that the book guidelines established by the Carroll school district administration were an "overreaction" and "misinterpretation" of the law, CBN News reported.
"We find it reprehensible for an educator to require a Holocaust denier to get equal treatment with the facts of history," Robison expressed his disapproval. "That's absurd."
Texas state Senator Bryan Hughes, who penned Senate Bill 3, even denied that the measure requires teachers to provide "opposing views" on what he called matters of "good and evil" or to remove books that only offer one perspective of the Holocaust. Sen. Hughes argued, "I'm glad we can have this discussion to help elucidate what the bill says, because that's not what the bill says."