A secret audio recording revealed a Texas school administrator warning teachers to balance out classroom books on the Holocaust with “opposing” views.
An official with the Carroll School District in Southlake is heard on the recording, obtained by NBC News, advising educators about what books they should have on their classroom shelves after a local teacher was reprimanded for keeping an “anti-racism” book in her library.
“Make sure that if you have a book on the Holocaust that you have one that has opposing – that has other perspectives,” a voice that is purportedly Gina Peddy is heard saying to groans from teachers.
“How do you oppose the Holocaust?” one teacher responds, according to NBC News.
“Believe me – that’s come up,” replies Peddy, the school district’s director of curriculum and instruction.
The recording was made Friday during a training session said to be related to Texas’ new law that requires teachers to present differing views when studying “widely debated and currently controversial issues,” the TV station reported.
The controversial 3979 bill was portrayed by conservative lawmakers as a ban on “critical race theory,” outlining how teachers can discuss history and structural racism in Lone Star State’s classrooms, The Dallas Morning News reported.
A spokeswoman for the district told NBC school leaders recognize “teachers are in a precarious position” due to new legal requirements. The law is viewed as applying to books available in class libraries – not just those use as part of a lesson, the spokeswoman said.
“Our district has not and will not mandate books be removed nor will we mandate that classroom libraries be unavailable,” spokeswoman Karen Fitzgerald said, according to NBC News.
A state teachers union and state Senator have said the school district is misinterpreting the law.
NBC obtained a photo of teachers in an apparent protest of the discussion having stretched yellow caution tape across bookshelves.