A Texas school district administrator suggested that teachers covering the Holocaust should assign a book that has "other perspectives."
NBC News obtained audio of the comments made by Gina Peddy, executive director of curriculum and instruction for the Carroll Independent School District in Southlake, Texas. Peddy was addressing teachers concerned that they would have to remove "antiracist" books from classroom libraries in response to a state bill, House Bill 3979, that restricts the teaching of critical race theory.
"You are in the middle of a political mess. And so we just have to do the best that we can," Peddy said. "You are professionals. … So if you think the book is OK, then let's go with it. And whatever happens, we will fight it together."
The teachers, one of whom said she was "terrified," pressed Peddy for specifics on how to comply with the state legislation.
"Just try to remember the concepts of 3979," Peddy responded. "And make sure that if, if you have a book on the Holocaust that you have one that has an opposing, that has other perspectives."
Teachers in the meeting could be heard on the audio erupting in response to Peddy's comments, some of them laughing. "How do you oppose the Holocaust?!" one asked.
"Believe me, that's come up," Peddy said.
State senator Bryan Hughes (R.), who wrote his chamber's version of H.B. 3979, denied that the bill would require educators to offer books preaching Holocaust denial. "That's not what the bill says," Hughes told NBC News.
A spokeman for Texas State Teachers Association, a teachers' union, also denied that the bill would require teachers take such measures.
"We find it reprehensible for an educator to require a Holocaust denier to get equal treatment with the facts of history," the spokesman told NBC News. "That's absurd. It's worse than absurd. And this law does not require it."