Local Jews concerned about Texas law demanding ‘opposing’ views on Holocaust



Jews in the Texas School District, where an administrator told teachers that a new state law meant they had to include “opposing” views on the Holocaust in their classrooms are speaking out against its declaration and the law which motivated it.

“The facts are that there are not two sides to the Holocaust,” Jake Berman, a district elder who said he was anti-Semitic intimidated during his enrollment, said during testimony at the Holocaust. ‘a school board meeting on Monday that was reported by NBC News and has since been widely shared on social media. “The Nazis systematically killed millions of people. “

He added, “There are not two sides to slavery. White Europeans enslaved black Africans in this country until June 19, 1865, when we are barely 150 years old. There are not two sides to Jim Crow. There are no two sides to racism and this same oppression continues today. “

Last week, the administrator was recorded telling teachers in the Carroll Independent School District that in order to comply with a law requiring the teaching of “diverse and conflicting views” on controversial issues, they should offer “opposing views” and “other views” on the Holocaust.

The administrator reported that she was uncomfortable giving this advice, and the recording teachers protested. Berman said his remarks were “definitely a misstep.”

The law in question was prompted by growing Republicans’ opposition to Critical Race Theory, a concept in legal studies that says racism is embedded in the laws and institutions of the country. Opponents of the theory – including some Jewish activists – claim that it is widely taught in schools with no room for opposing views.

Last week, the school district superintendent apologized for the administrator’s remarks, saying “the comments made by no means meant that the Holocaust was nothing less than a terrible event in history. . Additionally, we recognize that there are not two sides to the Holocaust. He added that state law “does not require an opposing point of view on historical facts.”

Teachers participating in a workshop on anti-Semitism as part of an educational seminar at the Yad Vashem International School of Holocaust Studies. (credit: COURTESY YAD VASHEM)

State Senator Bryan Hughes, the Republican who drafted a companion bill to the law in question, denied that his legislation requires teaching opposing views on “right and wrong” issues. Hughes’ Bill expands the restrictions of the law and is currently going through the legislative process.

Rob Forst, a parent in the district who introduced himself at the school board meeting as a descendant of Holocaust survivors, called the administrator’s comments “completely unacceptable,” according to NBC News.

Berman said he attended district schools until eighth grade, when a principal advised him to leave to escape the anti-Semitic bullying he suffered. He said the insults directed at him made him consider suicide and led to depression in his adult life.

“I was the victim of a wave of bullying, almost all of an anti-Semitic nature,” he said. “I received everything from jokes on my nose to gas chambers while studying for my bar mitzvah of a Holocaust survivor as a primary guardian. “

“The message that you and the state send to your teachers opens the door to more of this type of behavior in your students,” he said. “If you don’t think these same attacks are happening in your schools today regarding someone’s skin color, gender, or religion, you are sorely mistaken.”


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