A principal was fired after questioning whether or not the Holocaust was real. William Latson, Principal of Spanish River Community High School in Boca Raton, Florida, wrote an email to a student’s parents in which he questioned if the Holocaust was a “factual, historical event.”
The whole ordeal began in 2018 when Latson sent the email. Once that communication surfaced, the Palm Beach County School Board reassigned him and then fired him in October of 2019. Latson appealed the decision and was then reinstated this year, but the School Board ultimately voted to reverse the decision and terminated his employment.
Latson’s email was in response to a parent’s inquiry about the school’s Holocaust education program. In addition to questioning the historical accuracy of the Holocaut, Latson told the parent that he couldn’t “force” students to learn about the Holocaust since there are parents who don’t believe it happened. He told the parent that he was “not in a position to do so as a school district employee.”
Latson was originally fired as a result of the email, as well as failing to “respond to communication from his supervisors and failed to assist the district in addressing the serious disruption caused by the aforementioned email and news coverage.“
Latson won his appeal and was reinstated, a move that was protested by the local community, particularly Jewish families, some of whom were present at the school board meeting where the controversial decision was made.
“Survivors were standing there in tears,” said one person who attended the meeting. “It was incredible.”
There was a public outcry after the decision was made and the school board finally reversed their decision and Latson was let go for a final time.
Latson has since apologized in a video posted on YouTube in which he denied he didn’t believe the Holocaust happened.
“I apologize to the Palm Beach County community, the School Board, the school administration, the parents, students, teachers of Palm Beach County, the Jewish community, and everyone offended or hurt by my mistake.”
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.