A school board in Florida has fired a principal for the second time after he told a parent he “can’t say the Holocaust is a factual, historical event.”
William Latson was fired after he made these comments to a parent in 2018, but after a judge ruled he should not have been fired the school board voted to rehire him in October in order to avoid a lengthy and costly legal battle. The vote was met with backlash locally and nationally until Latson was fired again.
In an email exchange with a parent, Latson said that he couldn’t acknowledge that the Holocaust was a “factual, historical event.”
“I can’t say the Holocaust is a factual, historical event because I am not in the position to do so as a school district employee. You have your thoughts, but we are a public school and not all of our parents have the same beliefs,” he wrote to the parent.
The parent countered: “The Holocaust is a factual, historical event. It is not a right or belief.” No word on whether or not Mr. Latson believes he can weigh in on the moon landing or who discovered America. I wonder if he is allowed to say whether or not 9/11 happened? Maybe, but only if you can blame the Jews!
“Not everyone believes the Holocaust happened,” Latson replied.
Last month, the school board voted to reinstate him by a vote of 4-3, but they walked back that decision this week after outrage from the Jewish community, according to the Palm Beach Post.
Latson has since apologized, but the damage was already done. Palm Beach County is heavily Jewish and Latson’s school, Spanish River Community High School, has many Jewish students.
“I regret that the verbiage that I used when responding to an email message from a parent, one year ago, did not accurately reflect my professional and personal commitment to educating all students about the atrocities of the Holocaust,” he said in July 2019. Not bad, but let’s be honest—the only reason someone pauses on whether or not the Holocaust happened is because they are ant—Semitic.
The school district said Latson visited the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. The district also made sure to expand his school’s Holocaust curriculum.
“Every generation must recognize, and learn from, the atrocities of the Holocaust’s incomprehensible suffering and the enduring stain that it left on humankind,” Palm Beach County school board Chairman Frank Barbieri Jr. said in a statement in July 2019.