Tags: Education | florida | principal | holocaust | denial | adl

ADL, Lawmakers Call for Firing of Fla. Principal After He Falsely Blames Parent in Holocaust Controversy

the historical site of Birkenau in germany
Birkenau (Michael Fiudra/AP)

Wednesday, 10 July 2019 04:42 PM

A Boca Raton, Florida, high school principal is reportedly blaming a parent for getting him removed in the wake of his refusal to say the Holocaust was a historical fact — and the furor has some officials calling for his firing.

Spanish River High school head Willlam Latson pointed the finger of blame at a parent in a farewell message to his school staff Monday, hours after he was reassigned amid an outcry over his written remarks in 2018 to the parent, the Palm Beach Post reported.

"I have been reassigned to the district office due to a statement that was not accurately relayed to the newspaper by one of our parents," Latson wrote in the message, a copy of which was obtained by the news outlet.

"It is unfortunate that someone can make a false statement and do so anonymously and it holds credibility, but that is the world we live in."

The local Anti-Defamation League was furious.

"ADL had hoped his apology was sincere and Latson could learn from his mistakes," Sheri Zvi, the organization's Florida regional director, told the Post. "Given that he cannot take responsibility for his actions, Latson should resign, and if not we believe the district should end his employment."

In Latson's messages, sent in April 2018, were statements "not everyone believes the Holocaust happened" and as an educator he had "the role to be politically neutral,' the news outlet reported. He also said "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."

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., was shocked at the principal's position, writing on Twitter:

"There is no excuse for what he expressed. There is no excuse for holocaust denial. There is no excuse for anti-Semitism of any kind."

So, too, was Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., who said in a statement, "I am just shocked that the Spanish River principal couldn't say the Holocaust is a factual, historical event. And I cannot believe the school district labeled this incident and the principal's leadership a 'distraction.'"

Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis also weighed in.

"Look, to act like the Holocaust is a matter of debate, I mean, is just absurd," he told FloridaPolitics.com. "And it's really troubling to see that somebody leading an educational institution in our state would actually be writing that down."

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After reportedly blaming a parent for getting him removed in the wake of his refusal to say the Holocaust was a historical fact, some officials are calling for the firing of a Boca Raton, Florida, high school principal.
florida, principal, holocaust, denial, adl
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2019-42-10
Wednesday, 10 July 2019 04:42 PM
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