Carroll ISD has apologized, and while that’s all well and good now is an ideal time as any to remind you that the sun rose in the east yesterday, that Abe Lincoln was once the president of the United States, and the Holocaust happened.
These are all facts.
To elaborate on this subject further I reached out to the longtime radio voice of the Dallas Cowboys, Brad Sham, and the radio voice of the Texas Rangers, Eric Nadel. Both men are Jewish.
Both are well aware of the story that broke late this week by NBC that featured Carroll ISD Gina Peddy, the executive director of curriculum, was recorded as she told a teacher, “Make sure that if, if, if you have a book on the Holocaust, that you have one that has opposing, that has the other perspective.”
Carroll superintendent Lane Ledbetter has since issued a statement apologizing, and said there are not sides to this subject.
Nonetheless, for citizens of the world, not just Jewish people, that this sort of sentence is ever uttered needs to be refuted, and shamed.
“If we are to the point where we have Holocaust deniers setting the curricula for our school children we need to know about that,” Sham said. “Let me be clear, I am not calling the Southlake school board Holocaust deniers. I don’t know that would be true.
“My suspicion is that this is a piece of the whole racial debate that has been ongoing there, and that they are looking at it and saying we just went through all of this with the race thing, and we passed that bill and look at our rule and we have to teach an alternative side. That’s a literal interpretation.”
Sham is referring to Texas house bill 3979, which requires schools to present different points of view on controversial subjects.
There is nothing controversial about the Holocaust. There is only tragedy.
“There is no alternate theory of the Holocaust. It happened. It is historical fact,” Nadel said. “The thought of teaching kids anything that denies that fact makes me sick to my stomach. It’s repulsive. What are they going to teach next, that slavery did not exist?”
As many of the survivors of the Holocaust enter the final stages of their lives, there is some concern that their stories, and the lessons, will be forgotten.
“The only opposite side to the Holocaust is that Jews are dangerous and need to be eradicated. That is the opposite side,” Sham said. “If is the opposite, you need to say it and say it before an election.”
This latest incident at Carroll ISD is a continuation of what has become a nationally followed story of an area debating how to properly set school curriculum regarding racial issues, among others.
The topic of potentially teaching “critical race theory” has become a point of contention throughout the area, and turned school board meetings into contentious fights.
NBC recently put out a six-part podcast that followed this story. It is uncomfortable. It is awkward. It is sad.
The debate has put teachers in the middle of not knowing exactly what to do, and who to appease.
The widow of former Dallas Cowboys center Frank Cornish is prominently featured in the podcast, as is former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Russell Maryland. Both are, or have been, Southlake residents.
To read that a school administrator remotely suggested to teachers that anything be offered to students as an opposing view to the Holocaust only furthers a stereotype that Carroll ISD is deliberately out of touch.
“My initial reaction to this is that this case is exacerbated by the fact that it’s Southlake, which has decided to declare war on teaching racial tolerance. They have decided to redefine it,” Sham said. “Holocaust denial is not about politics. The Holocaust is an international fact.
“It’s infuriating. It’s dangerous. It’s ignorant. You are trying to tell people that what happened didn’t happen. I have friends who are Holocaust survivors. Tell them it didn’t happen. It concerns me for the future of our culture, and I don’t mean Jewish culture, but American culture.”
Six million Jewish people were murdered during a state sponsored program by the Nazis from 1933 to 1945.
Sham has visited the concentration camps Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland and Dachau in Germany, among other sites in Europe. He has also visited the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.
He has taken off Dallas Cowboys games to observe Jewish holidays.
The subject of Holocaust denial is not a topic Sham or Nadel take lightly, nor should anyone.
Carroll ISD apologized for this one, because there is no alternative point of view to the Holocaust.