William Latson, a Florida principal, was trying to be neutral with a statement about the Holocaust. The principal seems to have an unpopular opinion when it comes to the wartime tragedy that killed millions of Jews. It seems he doesn’t believe the Holocaust happened. He didn’t say that word for word, but he indirectly did when he made his “neutral statement” about how he could not comment on it since he is a public servant.
This all started when a mother messaged the principal of her child’s school, to make sure they were teaching the students about the Holocaust. She was likely inspired after seeing a politician in the news, that could not tell the difference between a Concentration Camp, and a Detention Center.
“In an email reply, Principal William Latson assured her that the school had “a variety of activities” for Holocaust education.
But he explained that the lessons are “not forced upon individuals as we all have the same rights but not all the same beliefs.”
The mother, who asked not to be named to protect her child’s identity, was stunned. Was the principal of one of Palm Beach County’s largest public schools suggesting that the Holocaust was a belief rather than an actual event?
Thinking Latson simply had expressed himself poorly, she wrote back, asking him to clarify his comments. “The Holocaust is a factual, historical event,” she wrote. “It is not a right or a belief.”
She expected a chastened response. Instead, the veteran principal doubled down.
“Not everyone believes the Holocaust happened,” he wrote, according to email records obtained by The Palm Beach Post through a public records request. “And you have your thoughts, but we are a public school and not all of our parents have the same beliefs.”
He went on to say that as an educator he had “the role to be politically neutral but support all groups in the school.”
“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,” Latson wrote.
That response led the mother to launch a yearlong effort to address what she called a school leader’s failure to separate truth from myth regarding the genocide of an estimated 6 million Jews under Germany’s Nazi regime in the 1940s.”
The principal did apologize for the way he worded the email.
“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,” Latson wrote.
“It is critical that, as a society, we hold dear the memory of the victims and hold fast to our commitment to counter anti-Semitism.”
Due to the mother’s insistence, the school now requires 10th graders to read “Night,” a memoir of a holocaust victim. The school has moved the principal, but the mother still feels that the school may be failing to adequately cover the Holocaust.
She has a point, schools should teach history based on facts. They should not be catering to the ignorant who somehow believe that the holocaust didn’t happen. We have so much photo evidence and first-hand accounts from survivors, how can anyone say the Holocaust didn’t happen?