The Palm Beach County School Board narrowly voted 4-3 on Wednesday to hire a school principal who sparked national controversy last year when he told a parent that he “could not say the Holocaust is a factual, historical event “and” not everyone believes that. ” Holocaust happened. “
The controversy began when a mother asked former headmaster William Latson about the school’s Holocaust curriculum.
“I cannot say that the Holocaust is a factual, historical event because, as an employee of the school district, I am not in a position to do so,” Latson replied to the mother, emphasizing that it was his job to be “politically neutral”
The mother replied in disbelief: “The Holocaust is a factual, historical event. It’s not a law or a belief. “
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“Not everyone believes the Holocaust happened,” Latson said back to the mother. “You have your thoughts, but we are a public school and not all of our parents have the same beliefs.”
The school authorities already voted 5: 2 last October to dismiss the headmaster due to “ethical misconduct” and “failure to perform tasks”.
However, Judge Robert S. Cohen of the Administrative Hearing Division in Tallahassee, Fla. Ruled in August that there was no “preponderance of evidence” to suggest that Watson “committed wrongdoing, incompetence or gross insubordination in office”.
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“There was therefore no fair reason for his suspension and termination,” the judge wrote. “However, Dr. Latson’s transfer to another position within the district, a discretionary discretion, is warranted by his poor choices about giving a parent their ‘neutral’ position on an actual basis for the Holocaust.”
School authorities heard 96 minutes of voice recordings from people who condemned Latson’s actions almost universally and asked that he not be reinstated.
“I am disgusted by the fact that this person is being given a reimbursement and is being invited to return to a role as headmaster or teacher. Someone who says they cannot tell whether the Holocaust happened or not,” one person admitted a professor of political science at the University of Florida said.
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“The Holocaust is very well established, very well documented and needs to be taught to our students so that we can all ensure that such atrocities and ethnic cleansing do not happen in the future,” said another concerned Florida citizen. “As such, it would be a very bad mistake to get Mr. Latson back in his position.”
Judge Cohen recommended that Watson be “moved to a position within the district determined by the superintendent according to his qualifications.” It is unclear when or where this new task will take place.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.