A recent incident in Boca Raton (FL) highlighted a unique situation in our educational system. While we all know that "Political Correctedness" has become a litmus test in Academia, what happened at Spanish River High School in Boca Raton is giving me some pause...
William Latson, Principal of Spanish River at the time, received a complain from a parent regarding a Social Studies teacher who alegedly said in class that "a growing number of scholars are questioning whether the Holocaust really happened". The parent contacted the Principal asking for clarification, to which the Principal responded (in true COVID fashion by email) : "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"
Leaving aside the controversy that followed his firing and later rehiring by the School Board, I'd like to examine his statement:
"I can't say that the Holocaust is a factual, historical event..." means that in U.S. classrooms the historicity of the Holocaust is in question. The largest attempt to exterminate the Jewish people since the Roman repression of the Jewish Revolt is now considered "historically dubious". Putting two and two together and cross referencing with a recent poll commissioned by the Claims Conference it is no surprised to find out that 11% of those polled blamed the Holocaust on the Jews and a full 25% didn't believe it really happened.
"...because I am not in a position to do so as a school district employee". This raises an even ugglier question: If our educators are not in a position to defend factual historical true, what are theybteaching our children in Public Schools? In a different email he said "I do allow information about the Holocaust to be presented and allow students and parents to make decisions about it accordingly". In other words, the historicity of the Holocaust is on trial and educators are not suposed to take sides. When an historical fact is considered incompatible with Academic freedom, what is that telling us about our society?
I propose that Public School educators should not be allowed to teach as historical truth the Tea Revolt that preceded the American Revolution or the assasination of Martin Luther King or JFK. In addition, as some people believe that the landing on the Moon in 1969 never happened and it was just a Hollywood fake, we should not teach about the Space Program either. The list can go on, but it would be pointless. My point is that the standards in our Public Schools should change; Historical, proven, documented facts of History should not be declared casualties of the right of people to deny them. If we forget that some facts are real and documented, we will follow by declaring History itself a casualty of our ideological preferences... Just my two cents.
STAY SAFE - STAY HEALTHY - STAY CONNECTED