A high school in Boca Raton, Florida, has removed a principal who told a parent that he needed to remain neutral on whether or not the Holocaust occurred, JTA reported Monday.
The Palm Beach County School District said in a statement that it was aware of remarks made by William Latson in 2018 and had instructed him to expand Holocaust curriculum at Spanish River Community High School and spend time at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
“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 school district said, according to JTA.
The comments were made by the principal in an email exchange a year ago, in response to a parent who asked how the Holocaust is being taught at the public school.
Latson responded that “I can’t say the Holocaust is a factual, historical event because I am not in the position to do so as a school district employee.”
His comments drew wide media coverage after The Palm Beach Post reported on them on Friday.
The school, which has about 2,500 students, is said to have one of the largest Jewish student populations in the county.
Latson, who had his job since 2011, apologized in a statement to the Post, saying his email “did not accurately reflect my professional and personal commitment to educating all students about the atrocities of the Holocaust.”
In recent months, several anti-Semitic incidents have been recorded in the state of Florida.
In December, three Orthodox Jewish men were attacked in a kosher Dunkin’ Donuts shop in Miami Beach.
An attacker hurled a rock at one of them, and then proceeded to throw punches at the three men.
Earlier that month, a 35-year-old Muslim man was arrested after he threatened a synagogue in Miami.
In November, a swastika and an upside-down cross were painted on a decorative post in front of a Jewish center in Miami Beach.