During a training session on selecting appropriate classroom and library books, a north Texas school administrator, Gina Peddy, instructed teachers to “make sure if you have a book on the Holocaust that you have one that has an opposing, that has other perspectives.”
No doubt white supremacists would supply “other perspectives” about one of the ugliest chapters in human history, the mass murder of 6 million to 7 million Jews and other undesirables. They would claim the Holocaust was fake news manufactured by Jews and their liberal allies or the number of victims was much smaller. Even the extreme view proclaiming the exterminated subhumans got what they deserved.
Ms. Peddy’s comments must be considered in light of a new Texas statute recently signed into law by Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. The law states that if a “currently controversial issue of public policy or social affairs” is discussed in the classroom, the issue should be explored from “diverse and contending perspectives …”
School Superintendent Lane Ledbetter apologized for Peddy’s comments stating the law “does not require an opposing viewpoint on historical facts.” For too many people, the Holocaust and events such as the gun massacre of 20 children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 are not incontrovertible “historical facts.”
The “diverse and contending perspectives” also is Texas-size hypocrisy. Can you imagine teachers in conservative school districts being allowed to seriously discuss religious positions that are critical of Christianity or atheist arguments that there is no God?
George J. Bryjak