Published On: Mon, Jul 8th, 2019

Spanish River High School principal removed from position

Spanish River Community High School principal William Latson has been reassigned by the School District of Palm Beach County following his controversial comments he made regarding the Holocaust.

Latson wrote in a 2018 email to a parent that he “can’t say the Holocaust is a factual, historical event,” claiming he was “not in a position to do so as a school district employee,” since “not everyone believes the Holocaust happened.”

After the Palm Beach Post published the details of the email, Latson apologized. In a statement to the Post, Latson said:

“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.”

However, after the story gained national headlines, the School District was left with no choice but to act on the matter.

On Monday, the School District of Palm Beach County announced that Latson has been reassigned to a district position out of  “respect for the students and staff of Spanish River Community High School.”

The statement went on to say:

Mr. Latson made a grave error in judgment in the verbiage he wrote in an email stating, “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.” In addition to being offensive, the principal’s statement is not supported by either the School District Administration or the School Board.

District administrators began addressing this matter when the email messages were brought to the attention of the Regional Office. Based on a series of meetings with the
Regional Office, Mr. Latson was counseled about the choices he made in responding to a parent in email messages. Additionally, he was instructed to further expand the
Holocaust curriculum at Spanish River. He also spent several days at the United States Holocaust Museum to increase his personal knowledge.

Despite these efforts, his leadership has become a major distraction for the school community. It is, therefore, in the best interest of students and the larger school community to reassign Mr. Latson to a District position. The Regional Office will immediately follow the District’s process in the selection of a principal for Spanish River High School.

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