Statement of Commissioner Richard Corcoran in response to the principal at Spanish River High refusing to call the Holocaust a fact

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., July 10, 2019 – The Florida Education Commissioner today condemned the Spanish River High School Principal William Latson’s refusal to call the Holocaust a fact.

“As Commissioner, I urge the Palm Beach County School Board and Superintendent, Dr. Donald E. Fennoy, II, to conduct a thorough investigation and to act swiftly to address this discriminatory behavior.  Be assured that I will use every tool at my disposal to ensure that this type of behavior is not tolerated in any school in Florida.  I will also request an explanation of the manner in which the district and the school meets the requirements of Section 1003.42(2)(g), which requires that schools faithfully teach the history of the Holocaust and that the Holocaust be taught in a manner that leads to an understanding of the ramifications of prejudice, racism and stereotyping. On May 31, 2019, Governor DeSantis signed HB 741 into law. This bill prohibits discrimination in Florida’s K-20 public education system based on religion, and specifically targets anti-Semitism. One example of anti-Semitism in the bill is “accusing Jews as a people or the State of Israel of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.”  I am disappointed that a school leader’s communications with a parent has confirmed the timeliness and need for this legislation.”

The letter to Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Dr. Donald E. Fennoy, II, is attached: Holocaust Letter – July 2019 7-10-19