Palm Beach County School District reassigned Spanish River Community High School principal William Latson after he told a parent that he cannot say for certain that the Holocaust happened.

The letter caused outrage, which led the school to reassign Latson to a district position. Instead of taking responsibility, Latson placed the blame on the parent who complained about him.

The email exchange between Latson and the mother, who asked publications not to identify her, took place in April 2018. The school district explained they “privately admonished” Latson after the mother complained, but believed “his actions did not merit disciplinary action or a formal reprimand.”

Since the publication of the emails earlier this week, the story caught international attention and an online petition calling for Latson’s firing gained thousands of signatures.

From The Palm Beach Post:

Thinking Latson simply had expressed himself poorly, she wrote back, asking him to clarify his comments. “The Holocaust is a factual, historical event,” she wrote. “It is not a right or a belief.”

She expected a chastened response. Instead, the veteran principal doubled down.

“Not everyone believes the Holocaust happened,” he wrote, according to email records obtained by The Palm Beach Post through a public records request. “And you have your thoughts, but we are a public school and not all of our parents have the same beliefs.”

He went on to say that as an educator he had “the role to be politically neutral but support all groups in the school.”

“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.

The mother forwarded the email to the school district

Latson told The Palm Beach Post “that he regretted his comments.” He also insisted that his words “did not accurately reflect my professional and personal commitment to educating all students about the atrocities of the Holocaust.”

Latson has caused more controversy by blaming the parent in his outgoing letter:

Principal Willlam Latson’s false claim about the reason for his removal came in a farewell message he sent to his school staff Monday, hours after being reassigned amid a national outcry over his written remarks last year to the parent.

“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 the message, a copy of which was obtained by The Palm Beach Post. “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.”

Contrary to his claim, Latson was not removed from the school because of a parent’s statements but as a result of outcry over his written comments to a parent last year in emails.

Here are the emails.

Email Request 71819 by on Scribd