Principal Refused to Say Holocaust Was Real. Now, a Big Move

Florida school district's board votes 5-2 to terminate William Latson's employment
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2019 12:21 PM CDT
Principal Who Refused to Say Holocaust Was Real Is Fired
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/maroke)

The former Florida school principal who told a parent that the Holocaust was a matter of belief is out of a job, at least for now. The board for the Palm Beach County School District voted 5-2 Wednesday to end William Latson's employment. He'd been principal of Boca Raton's Spanish River Community High School for 11 years before he was reassigned to a district job in July. By then, an April 2018 email had surfaced in which Latson told a parent that lessons on the Holocaust are "not forced upon individuals as we all have the same rights but not all the same beliefs," per the Miami Herald. He added, per CNN, "I can't say the Holocaust is a factual, historical event because I am not in a position to do so as a district employee."

But that wasn't why Superintendent Donald Fennoy recommended Latson be fired. Rather, "Latson failed to respond to communication from his supervisors and failed to assist the district in addressing the serious disruption caused by the ... email and news coverage," Fennoy wrote in a letter to the board, per the Herald. CNN reports Latson, who does consider the Holocaust to be a historical event, was then on vacation in Jamaica. "This is a textbook example of a witch hunt," one teacher said at the meeting, claiming the district knew about the email for a year before taking action to appease an "angry mob," per the Palm Beach Post. Latson walked out in tears following the vote. He is to appeal the decision before his termination becomes effective on Nov. 21. (More Holocaust stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.