Speed Reads


Texas school official tells teachers they need to offer books with 'opposing' perspectives on the Holocaust

Teachers in a Texas school district were told last week that to go along with a new state law, if they have a book about the Holocaust in their classroom library, they need to also provide a book with an "opposing" perspective, NBC News reports.

A teacher with the Carroll Independent School District in Southlake recorded Friday's discussion and shared it with NBC News. In the recording, the district's executive director of curriculum and instruction, Gina Peddy, is heard saying that teachers need to "try to remember the concepts" of House Bill 3979, which requires teachers offer different perspectives while discussing controversial issues. Peddy added, "And make sure that if you have a book on the Holocaust, that you have one that has an opposing, that has other perspectives."

One teacher is heard asking, "How do you oppose the Holocaust?" In response, Peddy said, "Believe me. That's come up." Peddy did not respond to requests for comment from NBC News. A spokeswoman said the Carroll Independent School District is trying to help teachers comply with the law and "has not and will not mandate books be removed nor will we mandate that classroom libraries be unavailable."

Six district teachers spoke with NBC News and shared their concerns, saying they have received mixed messages. They are also concerned that earlier this week, the school board voted to reprimand a fourth grade teacher after a parent complained about an anti-racism book in her classroom. "Teachers are literally afraid that we're going to be punished for having books in our class," one elementary school teacher told NBC News. "There are no children's books that show the 'opposing perspective' of the Holocaust or the 'opposing perspective' of slavery. Are we supposed to get rid of all of the books on those subjects?"