A Florida principal has been fired after he told a parent that the Holocaust was not "a factual, historical event." William Latson made national headlines in 2018 for his response to an email from a parent asking how his school handles teaching the Holocaust.
Latson explained that while the school had "a variety of activities" centered around teaching students about the Holocaust, the lessons would "not [be] forced upon individuals as we all have the same rights but not all the same beliefs."
The parent pushed back and pointed out that the Holocaust "is a factual, historical event."
"Not everyone believes the Holocaust happened," Latson replied. "And you have your thoughts, but we are a public school, and not all of our parents have the same beliefs."
He explained that as a district employee, he must be "politically neutral" and "can't say the Holocaust is a factual, historical event."
When Latson's correspondence with the parent was made public, school officials reassigned him to an administrative role. Officials say that Latson refused to work with the school district to contain the fallout of his comments.
"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," Palm Beach County said in a statement.
The school district voted 5-2 in favor of firing Latson for ethics violations, though he can dispute the decision by filing an appeal with the Department of Labor Relations.