Dallas Holocaust Museum responds to Southlake book controversy

Mary Pat Higgins said she doesn’t blame the Carroll ISD administrator who made the comment, and she doesn’t think this person is anti-Semitic.

DALLAS – When Mary Pat Higgins, president and CEO of the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, heard it, she was shocked.

NBC News released a secret recording of a Carroll ISD administrator advising teachers that if they have a book on the Holocaust, they should have a book covering the opposite view as well.

RELATED: ‘There Are No Two Sides’: Teachers in Southlake Reportedly Asked to Offer an ‘Opposite’ Perspective on the Holocaust

“To have an administrator in such a well-known school district who comes up with a controversial topic that might have an opposing point of view is of great concern,” Higgins said.

In a statement sent to parents and posted on social media, ISD Superintendent of Carroll Lane Ledbetter apologized “for the online article and report” that arose out of the recording, although District No. did not confirm the registration itself.

His statement went on to say that the district recognizes that there are no two sides to the Holocaust and assures that as the district continues to “work through the implementation of HB 3979” , leaders understand that the law does not require views that conflict with historical facts.

“I understand he apologized,” Higgins said.

Higgins said she didn’t blame the administrator who made the comment, and she doesn’t think this person is anti-Semitic.

“I bet she believes in the story of the Holocaust,” Higgins said.

She believes the comment was made by an educator who, like thousands of others around the state, is trying to navigate the HB 3979. The new law, which the Carroll ISD school board fought for, prevents teachers being forced to teach or discuss current events or controversial topics. It also requires teachers to create “diverse and conflicting” perspectives on current events and topics.

After seeing educators in the area reprimanded for their disagreement over the so-called Critical Race Theory, Higgins said educators were in a difficult position.

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“It can be interpreted differently in every different community, by every different parent, by every different lawmaker, and it puts schools and teachers in a dead end,” Higgins said.

For Higgins, the greatest danger is teaching the next generation the wrong side of the story.

“We see history as a wonderful way to influence behavior today because we can study the consequences of it,” Higgins said. “We believe that history is one of the most important ways to reach children and help them think about and resist prejudice and hatred. . “

Higgins said the museum’s mission is to educate and call on people to act against hate, so it’s encouraged with every person who walks through the doors.

However, she cautions against the long-term impact of filtering history to meet anyone’s agenda.

“I think it’s very dangerous,” Higgins said. “If we put our teachers and educators at risk of eventually having to validate something that is a conspiracy or conjecture and teach that alongside the historical facts, I think there will be dire consequences for our future.”

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