“Not everyone believes the Holocaust happened,” said the principal of Spanish River High School.
By World Israel News Staff
The principal of a high school in Boca Raton, FL has been removed from that position by the school district administration after the principal, William Latson, stated that not everyone has “the same beliefs” about the Holocaust.
Close to 10,000 people signed a petition calling for his resignation.
The controversy, first reported by The Palm Beach Post, erupted after the mother of a student at Spanish River High School asked how the Holocaust was being taught there.
In an email reply, Latson told her that the school has “a variety of activities” for Holocaust education, but that the lessons are “not forced upon individuals as we all have the same rights but not all the same beliefs.”
“The Holocaust is a factual, historical event,” the mother wrote back, according to the report. “It is not a right or a belief,” she insisted.
“Not everyone believes the Holocaust happened,” Latson replied. “And you have your thoughts, but we are a public school and not all of our parents have the same beliefs.”
The Palm Beach Post said it obtained the email exchange through a public records request.
“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,” Latson wrote.
“The School District of Palm Beach County is, and always has been, working diligently to be a leader in mandatory Holocaust education for students in grades K-12. The District’s curriculum is based on historical fact,” the district administration said in a statement relayed through local media.
“It is out of an abundance of concern and respect for the students and staff of Spanish River Community High School that School District Administration has decided to reassign Principal William Latson effective immediately,” it said.
“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,” the statement continued.
“Spanish River High, a 2,500-student campus west of Boca Raton, is said to have one of the county’s largest Jewish student populations,” says The Palm Beach Post.