On Wednesday, the Department of Education’s office of civil rights announced that it had launched at least three different probes into a school district in Texas, after multiple varying allegations of discrimination on the basis of race, according to USA Today.
At the center of the investigations is the Carroll Independent School District (CISD) in Southlake, Texas. Last month, the district’s executive director of curriculum and instruction, Gina Peddy, made a comment about how if any book is present in a classroom that focuses on a particular political issue, then there should be another book with an opposing view present as well to balance it out. As an example, Peddy said that “if you have a book on the Holocaust, that you have one view that has an opposing, that has other perspectives.”
After a recording of Peddy’s comments was released, numerous alumni from the school district, including Jewish students, stepped forward to describe instances of anti-Semitism from teachers and students.
One former student, Jake Berman, said that while he was in the school district, he “received everything, from jokes about my nose to gas chambers, all while studying for my bar mitzvah,” which he says nearly drove him to commit suicide.
“The facts are that there are not two sides of the Holocaust,” Berman added.
Former school board president Buddy Luce, reflecting on how long such behavior and rhetoric has allegedly gone on at the district, said that “the credit goes to a group of Carroll alumni and the Southlake Anti Racism Coalition who documented hundreds of testimonies by students on what’s going on.
“The way that’s been swept under the rug is, I think, the reason why I think the Department of Education Civil Rights Division is having to take this action,” Luce said.