The Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum says it’s appalled by statements from a Carroll ISD administrator caught on tape suggesting classroom teachers should present books with an “opposing” view to the Holocaust.
Carroll ISD quickly apologized for the statements from the administrator in a statement to NBC 5.
“We recognize there are not two sides of the Holocaust,” superintendent Lane Ledbetter said. “As we continue to work through implementation of HB3979, we also understand this bill does not require an opposing viewpoint on historical facts.”
HB3979 took effect September 1 after the 87th Legislature approved it and Governor Greg Abbott signed it into law.
The latest news from around North Texas.
Supporters say the law aims to prevent teachers from presenting curriculum that would make someone feel “guilt or anguish” on account of their race.
There is also a provision that says any topic that’s “widely debated and currently controversial issue of public policy” that teachers should “strive to explore such issues from diverse and contending perspectives.
Mary Pat Higgins, CEO at the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, opposed the bill before it became law primarily because it doesn’t answer the question of who decides what topic is controversial.
“I think for educators and school districts to be put in the position of trying to adjudicate what’s a reasonable objection or a reasonable opposing view really puts them at risk of not being able to teach our children the history they need to know,” Higgins told NBC5 on Friday.
Higgins said the response from Carroll ISD illustrates the dangers of the new law that mandates historical facts be taught alongside an opposing view.
“Our mission is to change behavior through teaching difficult history,” Higgins said. “If the state makes that difficult for us to do – and teachers and school district to do - I think we will see really horrific results from that.”