Texas school administrator Gina Peddy told teachers in Southlake to offer “opposing views” of the Holocaust in a meeting last Friday, according to a shocking audio recording obtained by NBC.

The schools in Southlake, some 20 miles from Fort Worth, are administered by the Carroll Independent School District.

The official said in a meeting with educators last week that schools needed to supply students with books that give a differing perspective on the Holocaust — the genocide of 6 million European Jews and 5 million others carried out by the Nazi German government in the 1930s and 1940s.

Gina Peddy, the district’s executive director of curriculum and instruction, was secretly recorded by a Southlake teacher during the meeting, and that recording was passed along to NBC. In it, Peddy can be heard explaining new district policies that seek to comply with a recent Texas law that takes aim at “critical race theory,” a nebulous term that the law does not define.

Gina Peddy Didn’t Clarify

Peddy offered the shocking Holocaust comment as an example, after teachers at the meeting told her that the new law was unclear.

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

Peddy did not explain what an “opposing perspective” to the Holocaust — a demonstrably provable fact of history — would entail. When one teacher at the meeting asked her to clarify, Peddy responded vaguely.

“Believe me, that’s come up,” she said, confusingly.

Gina Peddy did not respond to requests for clarification from NBC or from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Administrator Gina Peddy told teachers at Carroll Independent School District in Southlake, Texas to offer 'opposing views' to Holocaust literature in a shocking statement on Friday.
Administrator Gina Peddy told teachers at Carroll Independent School District in Southlake, Texas to offer ‘opposing views’ to Holocaust literature in a shocking statement on Friday. Photo credit: Shutterstock

School Officials Cite State Law

Carroll Independent School District spokeswoman Karen Fitzgerald responded to media inquiries later, but only reiterated that the the Southlake district was seeking to comply with the new state law.

“Our district recognizes that all Texas teachers are in a precarious position with the latest legal requirements,” Fitzgerald wrote. “

“Our district recognizes that all Texas teachers are in a precarious position with the latest legal requirements,” Fitzgerald wrote. “Our purpose is to support our teachers in ensuring they have all of the professional development, resources and materials needed. Our district has not and will not mandate books be removed nor will we mandate that classroom libraries be unavailable.”

Southlake teachers who are unsure whether they are in compliance with the new law should “visit with their campus principal, campus team and curriculum coordinators about appropriate next steps,” she said, still not clarifying what an “opposing view” to the historical fact of the Holocaust would entail.

In response, the Texas State Teachers Association argued that the district’s interpretation of the law — which is only eight pages long — is an “overreaction” and a “misinterpretation.” NBC reported that “three other Texas education policies experts” agreed with the union’s statement.

The text of the law makes specific mention of the founding of the United States, slavery, and the Civil Rights Movement, but makes no mention of the Holocaust.

The law does stipulate that “a teacher who chooses to discuss” any “current event or widely debated and currently controversial issue of public policy or social affairs” must “strive to explore the topic from diverse and contending perspectives without giving deference to any one perspective.”

“We find it reprehensible for an educator to require a Holocaust denier to get equal treatment with the facts of history,” said Clay Robison, a spokesman for the state teachers’ union. “That’s absurd. It’s worse than absurd. And this law does not require it.”