““And make sure that – if you have a book about the Holocaust – that you have one that has opposition, that has other perspectives.””
A school system in Southlake, Texas is on the defensive after a secret recording captured an administrator saying any discussion of the Holocaust should be accompanied by an opposing opinion. It’s a question that alarmed teachers attending the meeting, according to the audio, obtained by NBC News.
The directive shocked teachers, who asked, “How do you oppose the Holocaust?”
But it’s a reality of the current political environment, admitted Gina Peddy, which she called a “political mess”, adding, “And so we just have to do the best we can.”
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Teachers revealed they were terrified of the state’s recently passed House Bill 3979, legislation to “abolish critical race theory in Texas”, in the words of Gov. Greg Abbott, referring to an approach pedagogical generally introduced in postgraduate programs and law schools. The Texas bill, due to take effect in December, restricts teachers’ freedom to talk about race – specifically, prohibiting the teaching of material that could make a student “feel uncomfortable, guilty , anxiety or any other form of psychological distress because of their race or sex”.
The bill can be attributed to an uproar after the 2019 release of the “1619 Project,” a New York Times publication that offered a view of how race had been intertwined with American identity since 1619, when the first slave ships arrived in Virginia from Africa. The publication provoked a wave of conservative opposition, which can be seen recently in the race for the governorship of Virginia. There, Republican Glenn Youngkin is backed by parents who protested at school board meetings.
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Peddy, the school program director for the Carroll Independent School District in suburban Dallas, supported teachers by saying, “If you think [a] book is OK, so let’s go. And whatever happens, we will fight it together.