A Florida high school principal who was removed from his school in July after refusing to take a position on whether the Holocaust happened is still being paid his six-figure salary by his heavily Jewish school district despite not having any work responsibilities, the Palm Beach Post reported Wednesday.
After a parent emailed him in 2018 with questions about the school’s Holocaust education curriculum, Spanish River Community High School principal William Latson told her that the curriculum would “not [be] forced upon individuals as we all have the same rights but not all the same beliefs.”
“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,” he added.
The school is in Boca Raton, which is part of South Palm Beach County. The area is around one-third Jewish, according to a 2018 study by the local Jewish federation.
Latson was reassigned after the Post reported on the story in July 2019. But despite pledging that month to fire Latson, Palm Beach County Schools superintendent Donald Fennoy has yet to do so. Three school board hearings on the subject have been postponed in the past three months, according to the Post.
In the meantime, Latson is still drawing his $107,000 salary for what the Post described as a “home assignment.”
A school board vote to initiate Latson’s termination is now set for November 6. School district officials cited the continued legal process as the reason for the delays.
“My community is very upset by the constant delays,” said school board member Karen Brill, who is Jewish. “But we have to abide by the requirements for due process, whether we agree or not.”