Pat yourself on the back, creationists. You’ve succeeded beyond your wildest dreams. I’d give special appreciation to the Discovery Institute, which came up with so many potent slogans. “Teach the controversy!” “Teach both sides!” So many school administrators and politicians fell for it, taking it for granted that what a school was supposed to do was throw every crank idea at the students, and let them sort it out…while teachers were supposed to sit back and provide no guidance from hard-earned learning and experience, because that would be “bias”. How dare you teach all that evidence-based science about evolution and the history of life on Earth, don’t you know that’s discriminating against fringe theories that have no logical, rational, evidential basis? Make room for Ken Ham, right next to Darwin and Fisher and Simpson and Beadle and Tatum and…it’s a long list.
But that’s the triumph of their idea, that education shouldn’t be based on merit, and that teachers are useless unless they promote their propaganda.
And now it’s come to this.
A senior school administrator in the Lone Star State was recorded telling educators that if they’re going to keep books about the Holocaust in their classrooms, they must also stock material representing “opposing” views or “other perspectives.”
NBC News has obtained a recording that it says features Carroll Independent School District executive director of curriculum and instruction Gina Peddy explaining to teachers that House Bill 3979 requires them to offer alternative information when it “comes to widely debated and currently controversial.” That, by her account, includes the systematic execution of millions of people — mostly Jews — at the hands of the Nazis during World War II.
“Make sure that if you have a book on the Holocaust that you have one that has an opposing, that has other perspectives,” Peddy said.
You can hear the whole thing here. Listen to the administrator tell the teachers how she wants to work with them and help them, but if they offer a book that teaches about the Holocaust, they better also include a book about Holocaust denial. The teachers sound appalled and horrified.
NEW: A school administrator in Southlake, Texas, advised teachers last week that if they have a book about the Holocaust in their classroom, they should also have a book with an "opposing" perspective.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 14, 2021
The administration’s excuse:
The law says we have to “teach both sides”. That is so familiar, as is the language about “widely debated and currently controversial” issues. All you need to do to make an issue widely debated and currently controversial is to get a local ignorant church pastor to stand up and argue for bullshit. Presto! Debate! Controversy! Therefore it has to go into the curriculum. It’s only fair, after all.
That’s not how education works. It has never worked that way. You can thank the creationists for a decades-long campaign to misrepresent how science and teaching work so they can get their fables and lies into the classroom. The end result: opening the door for Nazis and kooks to pollute public education. Fuck those motherfuckers, every one.