NewsPalm Beach CountyRegion S Palm Beach CountyBoca Raton

Actions

Parents, students provide input for who should replace principal removed for Holocaust controversy

Spanish River High School
Posted at 10:59 PM, Jul 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-16 08:32:14-04

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Spanish River High School has a shorter than normal window to decide on who their new principal will be ahead of the school year after William Latson was removed from his position after he wrote in an email that he “can’t say the Holocaust is a factual, historical event.”

On Monday, the district met privately with Spanish Rivers teachers and then publicly with parents and students. That feedback goes to the district to help them decide who the principal will be. This is the standard process that any school goes through when it needs a principal.

The goal is to have a new principal by Aug. 5, when teachers return to campus to start the next school year.

Peter Licata, the district’s South Regional Superintendent, said after the meeting in an interview, “It’s a pretty foolproof process, I mean nothing is foolproof, but with the extensive input, staff input and researching the right questions and what they want to see in it, we usually do very well in finding the right person.”

So, the district asked the Spanish River community what they want in their next principal.

“I want to make sure that Spanish River gets a principal that I feel Spanish River needs,” said Issac Leb, who graduates from the high school next Spring.

RELATED: Spanish River High School principal reassigned after making controversial comments about Holocaust

He wants a principal whose focus extends beyond just academics. He wants “A principal who is focused on things like sports, and community involvement and especially the arts.”

Rachel Blogg was in the school’s first graduating class that spent all four years on campus. She has two kids who will be underclassmen.

“For me, it’s very important to have a principal that has years of experience not only as a teacher but in the community. I don’t want a principal who has just been planted here and has no idea what Boca Raton is about,” she said in an interview after the meeting.

Nancy Rhodes’ daughter is nervous about the change when she starts her sophomore year.

“She wants to know that this is a safe environment, I’m okay just because something happened. This new person who’s coming in still makes me feel good, still makes me feel safe and I can do the best that I can,” she said in an interview after the meeting.

The goal is for the school board to vote on the new principal at the meeting July 24th, the same day the school board will decide whether or not the renew William Latson’s contract, who has already been reassigned.