Texas Law Risks Promoting Holocaust Denial After School Official Tells Teachers To Cover ‘Opposing’ Views

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Books, Greg Abbott

A Texas educator has been apologized after comments she made implied that teachers should be “opposing” perspectives on the Holocaust.

Gina Peddy, executive director of curriculum and instruction for the Carroll Independent School District, was hosting a training session that covered a new Texas law requiring educators to present multiple perspectives when discussing “widely debated and currently controversial” issues.

The new Texas law could lead to Holocaust denial being taught in schools.

“Just try to remember the concepts of [House Bill] 3979,” Peddy said according to a recording taken on Oct. 8, “And make sure that if you have a book on the Holocaust that you have one that has an opposing, that has other perspectives.”

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The comments expose the inherent danger in Texas’ new education law which was initially born out of a growing movement to suppress the teaching of Critical Race Theory in schools.

The law prohibits teachers from discussing “a particular current event or widely debated and currently controversial issue of public policy or social affairs.”

And suggests that if teachers do want to cover these kinds of topics they must “explore such issues from diverse and contending perspectives without giving deference to any one perspective.”

In an attempt to ban education around racism, sexism and anti-LGBTQ discrimination, Texas has made a pathway for state sanctioned antisemitism.

“This is an outrage, not only for Jewish communities across our state, but for every single parent sending their kids to school in the morning and worrying about what kinds of attacks they’ll face, simply because of who they are,” said Texas Democratic Party Co-Executive Director Hannah Roe Beck in a statement.

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When Peddy made her comments, even some in her company could recognize the terrifying inaccuracy in how she spoke about the Holocaust.

“How do you oppose the Holocaust?” one teacher said in response, sounding baffled. The answer, of course, is that you can’t. One cannot defend the indefensible. 

But that is exactly what Texas is trying to do with their miseduction law. 

The implication in the law is that if an educator wants to talk about white supremacy — whether their talking about Nazi Germany or the Jim Crow-era in the US — they must defend the killing of targetted groups. 

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If teachers can recognize the absurdity of Peddy’s suggestion that the Holocaust has “opposing” sides worth exploring, then surely we can see just how flawed Texas lawmakers are in their efforts to end Critical Race Theory.

In defending the Holocaust or criticising the proponents of Critical Race Theory, we are teaching an alternate history — one that overlooks the implicit and explicit oppression of Jews and Black people. 

And, in doing that, there is really only one group that is being defended — white supremacists. 

Political allies of Greg Abbott’s law are, whether they're willing to admit it or not, no better than Proud Boys, Oath Keepers or neo-Nazis in their attempt to hide school-age children from the truth and teach a false version of history.

Reality does not always have two sides. There are clear truths that need to be taught to generations to come in order to avoid history repeating itself. 

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Alice Kelly is a senior news and entertainment editor for YourTango. Based out of Brooklyn, New York, her work covers all things social justice, pop culture, and human interest. Keep up with her Twitter for more.