A school program official went so far as to suggest that teachers should seek “opposing” perspectives if students read a book about the Holocaust, according to a recording acquired by NBC News. The commissioner apologized. “We recognize,” he said, “that there are not two sides to the Holocaust.
Sheri Mills, a school counselor from Southlake, heard herself denounced as a Marxist and heckled at sporting events for her teenage daughter.
“A lot of our teachers are petrified,” Ms. Mills said. “Great teachers, if they’re near retirement, they leave.”
In Alief, a diverse neighborhood on the western outskirts of Houston, three English teachers from Kerr High School sat together and talked about this uncertain world.
Safraz Ali, who grew up in Guyana and taught for 17 years, said he grew weary of the uncertainty. He called the state’s education department and asked officials to define critical race theory. He received no response.
“It’s like walking into a dark room,” he said.
In particular, teachers highlighted the clause that says a teacher should not instill the idea that students should feel “responsible, blamed or guilty” because of their race or gender. Mr Krause, the state representative, had gone further, suggesting that a teacher could override simply by attributing a book that troubles a student.
These teachers almost slapped the forehead in frustration. To teach Shakespeare and Toni Morrison, to read Gabriel García Marquez or Frederick Douglass, is to stir up a wave of emotions, they said, from which can arise introspection and self-recognition, sorrow and joy. The challenge is no different for a social studies professor who talks about Cherokee dying along the Trail of Tears or white gangs lynching blacks and Mexicans.