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Florida District Fires Principal Who Refused to Say the Holocaust Really Happened 

10-31-2019
Highschool Student

JERUSALEM, Israel - A principal in Boca Rotan, Florida was fired Wednesday after he refused to say definitively that the Holocaust is a historical event. 

William Latson, the former principal of Spanish River High School, made international headlines in April when he told a parent that Holocaust education is not required at his school because "not everyone believed the Holocaust happened."

"The curriculum is to be introduced but not forced upon individuals as we all have the same rights but not all the same beliefs," Latson wrote in an email to the parent.

The Palm Beach County School Board voted 5-2 to terminate Latson's employment effective Nov. 21. Previously, he had been reassigned to another position. The school district said Latson's firing is due to ethical misconduct and failure to meet his job expectations.

The district also rebuked Latson's actions when his controversial statements about the Holocaust came to light. 

"While his email was receiving global news coverage, Mr. Latson failed to respond to communications from his supervisors and failed to assist the District in addressing the serious disruption caused by the aforementioned email and news coverage," a statement from the school district said.

Latson told the Palm Beach Post when the controversy first broke that he regrets how he worded his emails. 
 
"I regret that the verbiage that I used when responding to an email message from a parent, one year ago, did not accurately reflect my professional and personal commitment to educating all students about the atrocities of the Holocaust," he said. 

However, he reaffirmed his position that he "can't say the Holocaust is a factual, historical event because I am not in the position to do so as a school district employee."

The district has confirmed that the Holocaust did happen, and said it previously asked Latson to increase his school's Holocaust curriculum. 

"Every generation must recognize, and learn from, the atrocities of the Holocaust's incomprehensible suffering and the enduring stain that it left on humankind," Palm Beach County school board Chairman Frank Barbieri Jr. said in a statement in July.

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