Texas officials sorry for advising teachers to include ‘opposing views’ on Holocaust

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School administrators in Texas have apologized for telling teachers they need to teach “oppositional perspectives” about the Holocaust because of new laws aimed at curbing “critical race theory” in the classroom.

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Gina Pedy, curriculum director for the Carroll Granthshala School District in Southlake, Texas, reportedly warned teachers at a training meeting last Friday that they should balance books about the Nazi genocide with other books with the opposite view.

But in a Facebook post on Thursday, District Superintendent Len Ledbetter, apologizing to families and teachers, confirmed that “there are no two sides to the Holocaust”.

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Mr Ledbetter said: “As the Superintendent of Schools, I offer my sincere apologies regarding the online article and news that has been released today.

“The comments made during last week’s meeting with teachers, there was no way to suggest that the Holocaust was anything less than a horrific event in history. Additionally, we believe that there are two sides to the Holocaust. are not.

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“As we continue to work through the implementation of [Texas House Bill] 3979, we also understand that this Bill does not require an opposing view on historical facts. As a district we will work to clarify our expectations for teachers and once again apologize for any hurt or confusion this may have caused.”

House Bill 3979 is a Texas state law that regulates how teachers in the state talk to their students about current affairs and the country’s history of racism. It is largely seen as an attempt to ban discourse around critical race theory, an academic term to describe how race and racism have affected social structures in America.

Several GOP leaders have denounced the teaching of critical race theory over the past year. The bill, signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott in June this year, requires teachers to discuss “widely debated and currently controversial” topics to provide “diverse and conflicting perspectives without respecting any one perspective”. Can go

In an audio recording reported by NBC News, Ms Pedy attempted to explain the requirements by saying: “Make sure that if you have a book on the Holocaust, you have an adversary, which has other perspectives.”

A teacher asked: “How do you oppose the Holocaust?” Ms Pedy replied: “Trust me, it has arrived.”

The Holocaust was the systematic and state-sponsored genocide of Jews by the Nazi regime and its allies. According to estimates from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and various scholars, about six million Jews were killed in Europe at this time.

Following Ms Pedy’s comments, Democratic Senator Jose Menendez called on the Texas Education Commissioner to “deny hateful and racist rhetoric” in Texas public schools, demanding “immediate action” and how House Bill 3979 is being implemented. Sent a letter to “thorough review”.

“This is disturbing and a clear violation of keeping an open and healthy learning environment in our schools,” he wrote. “When this bill was passed, the legislators warned that there would be racist attacks. It is our job to do everything possible to ensure an open and diverse platform, without subjecting our children to racism [hateful] rhetoric.”

The reports saw huge outrage from Democratic politicians, including Congressman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Chris Murphy.

“There is a reason why white supremacy strikes history,” Ms Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter. “Resist teaching the history of fanaticism and where it goes — from the slave trade to the Holocaust — is about recognizing prejudice and erasing society’s tools to prevent tyranny. Holocaust denial has no place in our society. . None.”

Calling the situation “a bit out of hand”, Mr Murphy tweeted: “So let me get this straight – the existential threat of ‘critical race theory’ mandating the teaching of Holocaust denial to Texas? that it is getting out of hand.”

Author Neil Gaiman also expressed his displeasure, saying: “So if Texas teaches books that oppose the Holocaust… or just books that say Jews deserved it?”

Credit: www.independent.co.uk / Texas

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