A principal is Florida faced backlash after reports emerged that he failed to acknowledge the Holocaust as a “historical, factual event” in an e-mail with a parent. Spanish River Community High School’s former principal, Williams Latson, has been fired from his position after a petition went live calling for his dismissal.
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A parent of one of the students e-mailed the principal about the prioritization of The Holocaust in the school curriculum. While he tried to maintain a neutral position on the topic, he made it clear that there wasn’t a big emphasis on educating children on the Holocaust. 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,” he wrote back to the parent. “Not everyone believes the Holocaust happened.”
He later added that the school allows “information about the Holocaust to be presented” to students so they could “make decisions about it accordingly” which he said he also does when it comes to slavery. The e-mailed leaked online last week which Latson apologized for but at that point, the school already caught wind of a petition for the principal’s resignation which garnered 11K signatures.
“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,” Latson wrote to the Palm Beach Post. “It is critical that, as a society, we hold dear the memory of the victims and hold fast to our commitment to counter anti-Semitism.”
The school district said that Latson’s “leadership has become a major distraction for the school community.”
“In addition to being offensive,” the district stated, “the principal’s statement is not supported by either the School District Administration or the School Board.”