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Tipsheet

Sen. Rubio Taking Steps After Teacher Refuses to Say Holocaust Happened

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Matt told you about that high school principal in Florida who was recently reassigned for refusing to say matter-of-factly that the Holocaust happened. Last year, in an email exchange with a parent concerned about how the school was educating kids on the Holocaust, Spanish River High School principal William Latson appeared to suggest that it was not exactly a proven historical event.

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

“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,” he continued. 

As you can imagine, the mother was horrified. And when the school got wind of it, they removed Latson as principal. 

He has since apologized for wording his sentiments so poorly.

“I regret that the verbiage that I used when responding to an email message from a parent, one year ago, did not accurately reflect my professional and personal commitment to educating all students about the atrocities of the Holocaust,” he told The Palm Beach Post.

Still, the incident has left a question mark on how schools are teaching the horrors of the Holocaust. That's why a bipartisan group of lawmakers have introduced the Never Again Education Act. Sens. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) presented a bill on Thursday that "would establish a dedicated federal fund to provide teachers with resources and training necessary to teach our students the important lessons of the Holocaust." It was also a bipartisan effort in the House in January, when Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Elise Stefanik (D-NY) introduced the companion legislation. It has more than 200 cosponsors - Democrats and Republicans.

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Rubio previewed the bill.

“The Holocaust is humanity’s darkest hour, and we must never forget the stain it has left on history,” Rubio said in a statement on Thursday. “Incredibly, there are still some who deny the existence of the mass murder of six million Jewish people or, even worse, wrongly manipulate the horrors of the Holocaust to score cheap political points in today’s partisan climate. It is our duty to ensure that future generations know the history of the Holocaust in its entirety, so that the millions of innocent lives lost will never be forgotten and that the evils of anti-Semitism will never be repeated.”

A few freshman Democrats in Congress, meanwhile, have been doing the opposite of helping. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY) in recent days has minimized the Holocaust by referring to border detention centers as "concentration camps." 

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In other words, this bipartisan effort to properly inform the next generation couldn't come at a better time. 

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