PALM BEACH, Fla. - On Wednesday, the Palm Beach County School Board approved a settlement with William Latson, former principal of Spanish River High School in Boca Raton, who was fired after he told a student’s mother “not everyone believes the Holocaust happened.”
Under the settlement, he will receive a new school district position and $152,000 in back pay.
Last October, the Palm Beach County School Board voted 5-2 to fire Latson on grounds of “ethical misconduct” and “failure to carry out job responsibilities.”
However, the state administrative court ruled in August that Latson’s actions weren’t “just cause” for termination.
Latson sparked outrage after he told a student's mother via email he was not allowed to say whether the Holocaust occurred because of his employment with the School District of Palm Beach County.
"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 in an email, later published by the Palm Beach Post.
"Not everyone believes the Holocaust happened 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, my thoughts or beliefs have nothing to do with this because I am a public servant," the principal said. "I have the role to be politically neutral but support all groups in the school."
Latson added: "I do allow information about the Holocaust to be presented and allow students and parents to make decisions about it accordingly." He said he does the "same with information about slavery."
In another email, Latson said the school's curriculum, which reportedly includes Holocaust education in English and history classes, "is to be introduced but not forced upon individuals as we all have the same rights but not all the same beliefs."
The response to the student's mother reportedly came after she questioned what Holocaust education would be provided for her child.
Latson had been with the Palm Beach County School District for more than 25 years.