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Photo by: Loop Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

A Texas superintendent apologized to his district on Thursday after a top official told teachers to "make sure that if you have a book on the Holocaust, that you have one that has an opposing, that has other perspectives."

Why it matters: The comment, which was first reported by NBC News, led to widespread outrage. State lawmakers on both sides of the aisle condemned the implication of an "opposing" side, as did the Anti-Defamation League.

  • It is unclear if Gina Peddy, the district's executive director of curriculum and instruction, will face any disciplinary action for her comments.

Driving the news: Lane Ledbetter, the superintendent of Southlake's Carroll Independent School District, said in a statement to families that the official's comments were "in no way to convey that the Holocaust was anything less than a terrible event in history."

  • "We recognize there are not two sides of the Holocaust," said Ledbetter, whose district serves over 8,300 students.
  • "As a district we will work to add clarity to our expectations for teachers and once again apologize for any hurt or confusion this has caused."

The big picture: Peddy made the remarks during a meeting last week about which books were allowed in classroom libraries, according to NBC News.

  • The meeting came four days after the Carroll school board reprimanded a fourth-grade teacher in response to a parent's complaint about an anti-racism book in her classroom.
  • During the conversation, Peddy referenced a new Texas law that requires teachers who discuss "controversial issues of public policy or social affairs" to include "diverse and contending perspectives without giving deference to any one perspective," per NBC News.
  • The measure, which Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed into law in June, is one of several Republican-led efforts to ban curriculums highlighting systemic racism.

What they're saying: "This is not nearly enough," tweeted Southlake Together, a local community organization. "The apology isn’t enough. The explanation isn’t enough. The promise to be better isn’t enough. Enough is enough."

  • "While it is good to see the Superintendent issue this clarification and make clear there is no opposing view to the Holocaust — we are still troubled that the implementation of HB3979 led to these dangerous instructions. History cannot be rewritten," the Anti-Defamation League tweeted.
  • Hannah Roe Beck, the co-executive director of the Texas Democratic Party, called the comments "disturbing," adding that "[t]here’s no place for laws that deny kids the right to learn about how racism impacts their world and their reality — especially in a state like ours with a growing diverse population."
  • "[S]chool administrators should know the difference between factual historical events and fiction," state Sen. Kelly Hancock (R) said in a statement. "No legislation is suggesting the action this administrator is promoting."

Go deeper

Nov 30, 2021 - Economy & Business

NBC News adds new primetime streaming show starring Joshua Johnson

Phohto courtesy of NBC news

NBC News next Monday will debut a new show for its NBC News Now streaming service called, “NOW Tonight with Joshua Johnson,” starring the former MSNBC anchor who will now work for the streaming service full-time.

Why it matters: It’s the seventh recurring program NBC News has launched for its streaming service in the past year. NBC News executives argue their progress gives them a leg up in the streaming wars.

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Why it matters: Like other "wellness" trends with a whiff of medical imprimatur, IV nutrient drips can be harmless or mildly restorative — or go awry, particularly in the wrong hands.

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.