Palm Beach County, Boca Raton, Florida – Spanish River High School Principal William Latson will be reassigned at the School District after he reportedly refused to call the Holocaust a real historical event. Boca Raton, Florida has one of the highest populations of Jews in the state. (Palm Beach Post) Latson worked at the school since 2011.
Boca Raton is home to many Holocaust survivors and their descendants. There are numerous Jewish children at Spanish River High.
Latson wrote to a parent last year, stating:
“I can’t say the Holocaust is a factual, historical event because I am not in a position to do so as a school district employee…Not everyone believes the Holocaust happened and you have your thoughts but we are a public school and not all of our parents have the same beliefs so they will react differently… I work to expose students to certain things but not all parents want their students exposed so they will not be and I can’t force that issue.” William Latson
The Holocaust was not a “belief.” It’s a well-documented historical fact. His refusal to call the Holocaust a factual event created a firestorm in Boca Raton. And the Palm Beach County school district disagreed with Mr. Latson.
“Mr. Latson made a grave error in judgment in the verbiage he wrote in an email stating, ‘I can’t say the Holocaust is a factual, historical event because I am not in a position to do so as a school district employee.’ In addition to being offensive, the principal’s statement is not supported by either the School District Administration or the School Board.” Palm Beach County School DistrictFlorida Sun-Sentinel
In spite of the fact that Mr Latson tried to apologize and even went to the Holocaust Museum to ‘increase his personal knowledge’, the uproar was nearly out of control, so the school district moved him from his position. He attempted to expand the classes in Holocaust studies, but by then…too late.
Was he simply trying to placate Holocaust deniers? Or is he a denier himself? That particular political stand is an extremely bad idea in the first place. Latson likely knows that the Holocaust was a real fact, but his choice of wording shows him to be trying to ride a fence that ultimately caused him to lose the battle.
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