South Florida principal who stirred controversy by refusing to call Holocaust a ‘factual’ event has been fired
A South Florida principal who courted controversy after refusing to acknowledge the Holocaust was a “factual, historical event” has been fired at the recommendation of the school district’s superintendent.
The board for the School District of Palm Beach County voted 5-2 to relieve William Latson of his duties without any discussion on Wednesday, thereby ending his more than 20-year employment with the district, Miami Herald reports.
Watson's emails to a mother's inquiry in April 2018 resurfaced this year and led him to be reassigned in July after serving 11 years as the principal of Spanish River Community High School in Boca Raton.
Latson's contract should not be renewed, Superintendent Donald Fennoy originally said, before appointing Allison Castellano as the school’s new principal.
“Not everyone believes the Holocaust happened," the former principal wrote in the controversial email thread.
As previously reported by MEAWW, Latson told the parent he could not take a position on whether the Holocaust was real because he worked for the public school district.
That said, Fennoy denied Latson’s firing was because of his controversial comments. He explained in an executive summary given to the board that the decision stemmed from the fact that “while the email was receiving global news coverage, Mr. Latson failed to respond to a communication from his supervisors and failed to assist the district in addressing the serious disruption caused by the aforementioned email and news coverage."
Furthermore, Latson's actions also violated the school board’s ethics code and the state’s code of conduct for principals, Fennoy said.
But several parents and teachers had spoken in favor of keeping Latson as a principal prior to Wednesday's vote.
“Dr. Latson rises to the top as the best principal I’ve had throughout my teaching career,” a Spanish River teacher appointed by Latson asserted.
According to the Palm Beach Post, Latson was sitting in the front row during the meeting. After the decision was revealed, he did not comment and walked out in tears.
Nonetheless, Latson's attorney has told the outlet he will appeal the decision in state administrative court.