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Principal Removed After Telling A Parent That He Can't Say The Holocaust Is Fact

A Florida high school principal has been reassigned after reportedly telling a student's parent that Holocaust education is not enforced at the school because “not everyone believes [it] happened," Huffington Post reported.

Principal William Latson's comments have caused major backlash in his community of Boca Raton, which has a large Jewish population, and have ultimately led to him being removed from his position.

Latson and the student's parent were exchanging emails in April of 2018 when he made the comment.

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The unnamed mother reached out to the principal at Boca Raton’s Spanish River Community High School to ask him how the school prioritizes teaching about World War II as part of their history curriculum. Specifically, she was inquiring as to how the Holocaust was taught to children.

The same mother also made mention of a 1994 mandate which requires Holocaust education in public schools.

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In response, Latson emailed back and told the mother that his school offers a one-day compulsory lesson to 10th graders. Students are not required to take the course, however, because "some parents don't want their children to participate."

“The Holocaust is a factual, historical event,” the mother replied in her email. “It is not a right or a belief.”

It was at this point that Latson typed back his response in which he claims that not everyone believes such a tragedy occured.

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“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,” he reportedly wrote. “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.”

While the school does present information about the Holocaust to the students, they leave it up to them to form their own opinions.

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Latson also told the mother during their email exchange that the same method of teaching is applied to lessons about slavery.

Later, the mother and another parent met with Latson to suggest adding Holocaust-related literature to the curriculum.


They approached the principal with the Holocaust memoir “Night,” written by Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel. They also discussed holding an assembly for the entire study body at which the Holocaust would be openly discussed, though none was held.

After his misguided comments went viral and the school received major backlash, Latson publicly issued an apology.

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He told Huffington Post the views expressed in the email exchange “did not accurately reflect my professional and personal commitment to educating all students about the atrocities of the Holocaust.”

At the time of the incident, Latson was not disciplined by the school for his conduct.

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The summer after the email exchange, he visited Washington’s U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to educate himself about the tragedy.

The museum views Holocaust denial to be a form of antisemitism. On their website, they denounce disbelievers and say those who doubt the tragedy occurred are “generally motivated by hatred of Jews and build on the claim that the Holocaust was invented or exaggerated by Jews as part of a plot to advance Jewish interests."

However, the school district has now announced that action will in fact be taken against Latson.

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According to the Palm Beach Post, they announced Monday that Latson will be reassigned to a district job effective immediately.

“Mr. Latson made a grave error in judgment in the verbiage he wrote," a spokesperson for the district said. "In addition to being offensive, the principal’s statement is not supported by either the School District Administration or the School Board.”

h/t: Huffington Post

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