Does anyone know what is up with Texas? Like, are they ok down there? Because every time Texas appears in my newsfeed, it’s because they did something outrageously offensive or utterly dumb.
The news has recently included whipping immigrants along the border, passing voter suppression laws, stripping women of their Constitutional right to abortion, and the list goes on. But now?
One Texas school district is taking aim at the Holocaust, and it sounds an awful lot like they are asking teachers to tell kids it never happened or that Nazis had a point.
The drama started when a teacher secretly recorded Gina Peddy, who is the executive director of curriculum and instruction, an administrator at the Carroll Independent School District in Southlake, Texas school district.
Peddy led a training session with teachers about which books to include in their classroom libraries and why.
Why do teachers need to be told what books they can have?
Well, mainly because Texas lawmakers don’t understand critical race theory. Peddy was brought into classrooms to do damage control after the school board voted to reprimand a fourth-grade teacher for having an anti-racism book in her classroom.
You know the drill, some outraged parents were worried that their precious child might actually learn about any perspective that isn’t white-centered, and so they went to speak to the manager. In this case, the school board.
Texas just passed an alarming bill called HB 3979 that appears to give school districts enough wiggle room to promote whitewashing history.
Section two of HB 3979 states,
“Teachers who choose to discuss current events or widely debated and currently controversial issues of public policy or social affairs shall, to the best of their ability, strive to explore such issues from diverse and contending perspectives without giving deference to any one perspective.”
I can only imagine that Gina Peddy understood HB 3979 (and presumably section two specifically) to mean that no historical topic could possibly be taught from only the victims’ perspective.
Nazis and slave owners suffered from white fragility, and geez, shouldn’t we give them a chance to be heard in modern classrooms?
“Just try to remember the concepts of [House Bill] 3979,” Peddy can be heard saying in a recording that has been made public by NBC News.
“And make sure that if you have a book on the Holocaust that you have one that has an opposing, that has other perspectives.”
If you’re scratching your head at the caucasity of that disturbing instruction, then you are not alone.
An unidentified teacher can be heard in the same recording asking how on earth do you oppose the Holocaust?
I guess Peddy or the architects of HB 3979 never read a history book because she responded to the teacher with, “Believe me,” Peddy said. “That’s come up.”
NBC reached out to Peddy for comment, and in response, the school district’s spokeswoman, Karen Fitzgerald, sent a written statement that read,
“Our district recognizes that all Texas teachers are in a precarious position with the latest legal requirements.
Our purpose is to support our teachers in ensuring they have all of the professional development, resources, and materials needed.
Our district has not and will not mandate books be removed nor will we mandate that classroom libraries be unavailable.”
The Texas State Teachers Association doesn’t sound too impressed.
Clay Robinson, the TSTA spokesperson, called the Carroll school district’s interpretation of the new law “overreaction” and a “misinterpretation” of HB 3979. Robinson told NBC News,
“We find it reprehensible for an educator to require a Holocaust denier to get equal treatment with the facts of history.
That’s absurd. It’s worse than absurd. And this law does not require it.”
For many Jewish families, this latest stunt in the news doesn’t feel like a simple misunderstanding of how a law was written. It feels an awful lot like an attempt to normalize antisemitism and further harm Jews.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, there has been a worrying trend of rising antisemitism in the United States.
Since 2020, there have been more than 2,000 documented hate crimes targeting Jews in the U.S.; these incidents include hurling racial slurs, stabbings, vandalism, shootings, threats of blowing up synagogues, and literally hitting Jews with cars during Hanukkah.
When a deranged madman was given enough power to kill six million Jews and several million Roma, LGBT, Polish, and Soviet prisoners of war, we need to learn how it happened to prevent it from happening again.
NBC News surveyed Millenials and Gen Z and found that 63% of nationwide respondents shockingly lacked basic knowledge of the Holocaust or had never heard of it.
What’s worse, 11% said that they didn’t believe the holocaust was real.
It is because of this type of ignorance that antisemitism can breed and Jews now face increasing danger.
But, it turns out that this particular school district has been in a battle for over a year over diversity and inclusion curriculum.
Some parents aren’t happy and are fighting to stop educators from teaching more diverse and inclusive schools of thought. But, teaching that the holocaust has an “opposing view?”
Umm, excuse me, but what opposing view would that be exactly?
Teachers need to be allowed to do their jobs without the ideologies of administrators and politicians getting in the way.
Southlake school district, get your shit together. We’re watching.