WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) – A Boca Raton high school principal who was ﬁred last year after telling a student’s mother “not everyone believes the Holocaust happened” might be rehired this week.
Superintendent Donald Fennoy has recommended that the Palm Beach County school board rehire former Spanish River High School Principal William Latson and give him $152,000 in back pay, news outlets reported. The recommendation follows a Florida administrative judge’s August ruling that Latson should not have been ﬁred. The board was set to meet Wednesday.
“ETHICAL MISCONDUCT” The school board voted 5-2 last October to ﬁre Latson on grounds of “ethical misconduct” and “failure to carry out job responsibilities.” The ofﬁcial justiﬁcation for his termination was failure to return messages from school district ofﬁcials in the days after his comments made international news.
Latson had initially been reassigned from the Boca Raton school to a district
ofﬁce job because of the outcry over his email to a mother who inquired whether the school’s students study the Holocaust. Latson, who had been at Spanish River for eight years, replied to the mother that as an educator his job was to be “politically neutral.”
“NOT EVERYONE BELIEVES” “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.
The mother, thinking Latson had expressed himself poorly, wrote back, saying, “The Holocaust is a factual, historical event. It is not a right or belief.” Latson replied, “Not everyone believes the Holocaust happened.” He added, “You have your thoughts, but we are a public school and not all of our parents have the same beliefs.”
The Germans under Nazi rule killed 6 million Jews during the Holocaust. The Nazis also exterminated another 5 million people during World War II including Slavs, Roma, also known as Gypsies, gays and people with disabilities.