A Florida businessman is offering a high school principal who was reassigned after his controversial comments about the Holocaust an all-expenses-paid trip to Auschwitz, WPEC reported.
William Latson, the former principal at Spanish River High School in Boca Raton, was reassigned after an email exchange with a parent in which he wrote that "Not everyone believes the Holocaust happened," WPTV reported.
"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 the 2018 email, according to the television station.
Jonathan Larkins, who is CEO of Busy Body Fitness Centers & Upload Fitness in Boca Raton, told WPEC he wants to fly Latson to the site of the former concentration camp in Poland.
“It’s important that I take a stand, so we elevate the topic in the minds of people, not just in this country, every country,” Larkins told the television station. “When people start talking about it, only then can we make change for the better.
“The best way to advance thinking is education, and in this case, the teacher could use a lesson in history to fully understand the atrocities that took place,” Larkins said. “My hope is that William Latson embraces my offer as an opportunity to become an ambassador for forward-thinking and to be a role model for how Holocaust education is presented to our youth both in Palm Beach County and the country at large.”
Latson apologized, but in a farewell message to his staff last week he said his email comments were taken out of context.
“I have been reassigned to the district office due to a statement that was not accurately relayed to the newspaper by one of our parents,” Latson wrote in a message to his staff, a copy of which was obtained by the Palm Beach Post through a public records request. “It is unfortunate that someone can make a false statement and do so anonymously and it holds credibility but that is the world we live in.”
Last week, Palm Beach County Superintendent Donold Fennoy said he was going to recommend the school board not renew Latson’s contract, WPTV reported.
At least one parent defended Latson, saying that while she disagreed with his comments, there were "20 miles of good" about the educator.
“I get it, it hurts and when it hurts that bad, you shouldn’t go near it and touch that in any way," Ava Clarke, whose child attends Spanish River, told WPTV. "But again, that was a wrong that was made, and there is maybe 20 miles of good and that’s what I would like to also see come out in this story.
“Anytime that I have dealt with him, I always felt he always treated everybody equally," Clarke told the television station. "He didn’t care what you were, who you were, what color you were, how much money you have. He really tried to be very equal and balanced."
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