First, Democrats like AOC and Ilhan Omar disgracefully offended the Jewish community by ignorantly comparing the border detention facilities to concentration camps.
Now, a Florida high school principal has refused to recognize the Holocaust as being an indistiputable historical fact!
“Not everyone believes the Holocaust happened,” the principal of Spanish River high school in Palm Beach, FL wrote in response to a mother concerned that her child was not being properly educated about the Holocaust. He added,
“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.”
Not a factual, historical event?
What about the 6 million Jews who lost their lives and the concentration camps that still stand in Germany today?
If that’s not proof enough of history, I don’t know what is!
Take a look at this shocking news on Twitter:
Needless to say, it's super concerning that an educator of all people would refuse to confirm a historical fact such as the Holocaust.
As Rick Scott put it on Twitter:
Because of this, some Twitter users are calling for the principal to be fired from his position at the school:
Even a former alumni of the high school spoke out against the principal:
Palm Beach Post has more details on the situation:
She sent off the email with few expectations — a routine question seeking a routine answer. How, the mother wondered, was the Holocaust being taught at Spanish River High School?
She wanted to make sure, she wrote to the principal, that her child’s school was making Holocaust education “a priority.” The response she received five days later, in April 2018, was anything but routine.
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.
Principal regrets comments
She didn’t doubt that Latson knew the Holocaust was real, she said in an interview, but she feared his reluctance to say so stemmed from a desire to avoid confronting parents who deny the Holocaust’s reality.
Denying or minimizing the Holocaust is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that monitors hate groups, as “an essential manifestation of anti-Semitism.”
Why, the mother wondered, would a lifelong educator cast a historical fact as a “belief” to appease anyone?
Her push led to changes in how the Holocaust is taught at Spanish River High, a 2,500-student campus west of Boca Raton said to have one of the county’s largest Jewish student populations.
It caused a small furor in the school district’s upper ranks, which had to grapple with whether and how to admonish a longtime principal of a high-performing school for his troubling statements.
But it ultimately left the mother frustrated, alleging that the school balked at putting in place some educational reforms she suggested and did too little to hold Latson, the school’s principal since 2011, accountable for his words.
In a statement to The Post, Latson apologized for the way he expressed himself in his emails, saying it was not indicative of his actual beliefs or regard for historical fact.
“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,” he continued. He pointed out that Spanish River High’s educational offerings on the Holocaust exceed the state’s requirements.
The Holocaust is taught, he said, in ninth- and 10th-grade English classes, as a component of U.S. history and world history courses, as a separate elective course and in an annual assembly featuring a keynote speaker.
Mother seeks changes
After her email exchange with Latson left her troubled, the mother pushed for a face-to-face meeting. In May 2018, three weeks after the email exchange, she and a second concerned mother met with Latson and a group of school district administrators who supervise him.
At the meeting, Latson provided the parents with a list of Holocaust educational efforts at the school.
But the mother wasn’t satisfied. She told Latson her child had informed her that not all of the supposed educational efforts were carried out in the classroom.
She asked that teachers be required to document their Holocaust lessons and readings. The suggestion was initially embraced, she said, but ultimately ignored.
Both mothers recalled that Latson again was reticent to state that the Holocaust was a historic event, a fact that angered the second mother, who expected the meeting would have resolved any tensions.
Instead, the second mother said, “I came out of there feeling so much worse. How do you pick and choose history?”
Latson did not respond to questions about his statements in meetings with the mothers.
Observing that some of school’s Holocaust teachings were in optional courses, the mother sought to use Latson’s emails as leverage to push for more educational offerings to reach all students.
In follow-up meetings with a school district administrator, she proposed two changes.
The first would require all 10th-grade English students to read “Night,” a classic Holocaust memoir by Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel. At the time, students were assigned to read only passages from the book, and the mother said that in her child’s class the readings hadn’t occurred.
The second one was to have assemblies about the Holocaust for every grade level. The school currently offers a Holocaust assembly only for 10th-graders.
Latson agreed to the first request. This past school year all sophomores were required to read “Night,” the mother and district officials said.
But while the mother said district administrators agreed to implement the assemblies at the school during the past school year, they failed to do so.
A high school principal in Boca Raton, Florida, told a parent that "not everyone believes the Holocaust happened," according to email records obtained by the Palm Beach Post through a public records request.
The email came amid a series of exchanges between the parent, who spoke to the Post on the condition of anonymity, and Spanish River Community High School principal William Latson.
The parent, a mother, had emailed Latson in April 2018 to inquire about the school's educational plan for teaching the Holocaust.
Latson replied, according to the newly released email messages, that the school sponsored a "variety of activities" to promote Holocaust education.
"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 said in his emailed response.
The mother was reportedly stunned and sent a follow-up email to see if Latson had perhaps simply misspoken.
In 1994, the Florida legislature passed a new law requiring school districts to incorporate Holocaust education as part of public school instruction. The state's educational statutes require that topics like these be taught "using the books and materials required that meet the highest standards for professionalism and historical accuracy."
In his reply, Latson expounded on his beliefs about the propriety of Holocaust education in public schools.
"Not everyone believes the Holocaust happened," he wrote. "And you have your thoughts but we are a public school and not all of our parents have the same beliefs so they will react differently."
What do you think?