Palm Beach Post broke a story last week about a principal in Boca Raton, Fl., Who told a mother he had to be cautious about talking about the Holocaust, as some parents did not believe it.
This story became a flashpoint nationwide, and today, American beds Rick Scott in Florida said that the principal should have been fired instead of being awarded.
In an email in April, Spanish High School President William Latson responded to a mother who asked how the school taught the Holocaust. While Latson said the school had "a number of activities" for Holocaust education, he also said that these lessons were "not forced on individuals as we all have the same rights, but not all the same beliefs."
The confused mother replied: "The Holocaust is a fact-historical event. It is not a right or a faith."
As the Palm Beach Post reported:
But the veteran leader doubled. "Not everyone thinks the Holocaust has happened," he wrote according to email records obtained by the post through a public record request. "And you have your thoughts, but we are a public school, and not all our parents have the same beliefs."
He went on to say that as a teacher he had "the role of politically neutral but supports all groups in the school."
"I cannot say that the Holocaust is a fact-historical event because I am not capable of to do it as a school neighborhood employee, "wrote Latson.
After the mother reached out, the district spoke to Latson, but issued no formal claims at that time. It all changed after the Palm Beach Post story, which provoked a lot of violence and a shift in attitude from the district.
A few days ago, Latson was moved to the district and said, "His leadership has become a major distraction for the school community." Latson apologized for his choice of words.
Some Florida lawmakers say it is not enough, including late Scott, who tweeted: "This Principal should have been fired, not just redistributed. There is no excuse for what he expressed. There is no excuse for the Holocaust denial. There is no excuse for any kind of anti-Semitism. "
But is this principal's absurd comment a symptom of fear among educators about triggering extremist parents who can then go ballistic?
Even the mother in this case told the Palm Beach Post that she did not believe that Latson was anti-Semitic, but that he feared dealing with the parents who did not believe in the Holocaust took place.
More and more people say they can no longer count on the central office to back them if parents complain, even when the parents represent a fringe view. Parents can complain about a teacher or school for Facebook or Twitter, and suddenly a district in Georgia is marked by angry calls from survivors in Idaho and Oregon.
The rise in challenges to the historical and scientific fact in the classroom comes from the same place – the increasing tendency to treat accepted and easily proven fact as a matter of debate. Facts fall victim to ideologies.
Educators tell me to worry about mentioning "global warming" for fear of dismissing parents who do not accept that climate change is real.
In 2004, the Georgia State School's superintendent hoped to prevent the word "evolution" from the new science plan to prevent controversy.
But superintendent Kathy Cox generated much more controversy after she had replaced "biological changes over time" for "evolution" on the grounds that she did not want people to quit "we should learn the monkeys kind of thing." quickly restored evolution to Georgia's standards after the Gold Dome colleagues said the state's reputation was in shambles.
How much should school districts take into account parents who treat documented facts as meaning?
Biblical letters continue to argue that creation belongs to equal evolution with classroom evolution. One is a religious belief, while the other is the basic idea of the whole of life science, which science advocate and educator Bill Nye says "frees the mysteries from everything from hops to human origin to our place in the universe."
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