BOCA RATON, Fla. (CBS12) — A high school principal has been removed from his position after making controversial remarks about the Holocaust in an email to a parent.
Spanish River High School Principal William Latson said he can’t say the Holocaust actually happened.
That comment did not sit well with Holocaust survivors.
The school district reassigned Latson, sending a message that his comments are unacceptable.
“Look, I think it’s a step in the right direction obviously. I don’t know that it goes far enough," said Matthew Levin, president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County.
Latson was reassigned to another job by the school district.
This comes after he questioned whether the Holocaust ever happened, when the school district says he sent an email to a parent saying: "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."
“I think he lost his mind. I think it was a judgement call, a terrible error in judgement," Levin said.
In a written statement, the Palm Beach County School District says, “In addition to being offensive, the principal's statement is not supported by either the School District Administration or the School Board.”
It’s been widely reported that Latson also wrote in an email to the parent: “Not everyone believes the Holocaust happened.”
"Nobody can tell me that I was not in a concentration camp," said Norman Frajman, a Holocaust survivor.
Frajman, 89, of Boynton Beach, still has the uniform he wore while he was in a concentration camp.
He went into a concentration camp as a 10-year-old boy, and says numerous relatives, including his mother, were killed in the Holocaust.
"The worst thing known to mankind was the act of the Holocaust and that should not be ignored," Frajman said.
The school district did not specify what job Latson is being reassigned to. CBS12 News could not reach him for comment.
The school district provided this statement:
The School District of Palm Beach County is, and always has been, working diligently to be a leader in mandatory Holocaust education for students in grades K-12. The District's curriculum is based on historical fact. It is out of an abundance of concern and respect for the students and staff of Spanish River Community High School that School District Administration has decided to reassign Principal William Latson effective immediately. 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.