Principal Who Said Holocaust Was a Belief Is Reinstated

School board vote comes after judge found 'no just cause' for William Latson's firing
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2020 9:00 AM CDT
Principal Who Said Holocaust Was a Belief Is Reinstated
William Latson will be given back pay and a new district position.   (Getty Images/Prostock-Studio)

The same school board that voted last year to end the employment of a principal who told a parent that the Holocaust was a matter of belief has now rehired him. Florida's Palm Beach County School District voted 4-3 on Wednesday to reinstate former Spanish River High School Principal William Latson, who'd answered a parent’s question about the school's curriculum by noting that, as a district employee, "I can't say the Holocaust is a factual, historical event," per the Palm Beach Post. The district had known about the April 2018 email for more than a year before Latson was reassigned and then removed with a school board vote last October. Officials said at the time that Latson committed ethical misconduct by not responding to communication from his supervisors about the incident when news of it broke.

In August, a judge ruled there was "no just cause for his suspension and termination," though Latson's transfer to another district position would be "warranted based upon his poor choices in communicating to a parent his 'neutral' position on the factual basis for the Holocaust," per Fox News. The judge recommended that Latson receive back pay and a new district position. A lawyer for the district urged board members to accept the recommendation, saying a costly legal battle would ensue if they did not, per the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Still, three did not. Board member Karen Brill said Latson's rehiring would leave a lasting "stain" on the district. He'll now receive $152,000 in back pay and a position as "principal on assignment" in the district's assessment department, per the Post. (More Florida stories.)

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