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Some say school district waited too long to take action against Latson

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School district to release video statement about principal accused of Anti-Semitism. (WPEC)

New concerns raised about the case of former Spanish River High School principal William Latson.

Palm Beach County Superintendent Dr. Donald Fennoy says he will ask the school board not to renew Latson’s contract because of controversial comments Latson made about the Holocaust.

Latson, former principal at Spanish River High, may be out of a job soon when the school board votes in a couple of weeks whether to renew his contract.

But some say the school district waited too long to take action.

"They could’ve taken action on this last year when they knew. But they didn’t," said Benjamin Szlamkowicz, a Boca Raton resident.

For Szlamkowicz, the Holocaust is a very personal issue.

He says several of his relatives survived the Holocaust while others were killed in it.

He’s already got more than 19,000 signatures on an online petition, calling on the school district to fire Latson because of his comments on the Holocaust.

CBS12 News has learned Latson’s comments date back to April 2018. Szlamkowicz feels the school district was slow to react and could’ve done something months ago. He claims district officials didn't act until a parent brought the comments to the attention of the news media.

“If they would’ve taken action on this in 2018, we wouldn’t be sitting here discussing this today," Szlamkowicz said. "We wouldn’t be sitting here right now if they jumped on it immediately,"

“Did you guys look into this right away or did you wait?" asked CBS12 Reporter A.J. Walker.

"I’m glad you asked. Right away upon finding out about the emails, the regional office went out and worked with Mr. Latson, counseled him on the tone of this email and the content, the factual inaccuracies contained in the email," said Ed Tierney, chief of staff for the Palm Beach County School District.

“They sat on it and did absolutely nothing," Szlamkowicz said.

However, the school district insists it did take action quickly.

“Mr. Latson went up to the Holocaust Museum in D.C. to further his understanding of that time in history, so there’s been a lot of action from the beginning of hearing about those emails," Tierney said.

But Szlamkowicz feels there are plenty of questions about what the school district actually did and when.

So he plans to ask the Florida Attorney General’s Office to investigate.

CBS12 News reached out to them, and they sent us this response: “Based on our understanding of the facts, this is a decision purely within the purview of the school district and is not something that our office would be involved with," said Kylie Mason, Press Secretary for the Office of Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody.

The Palm Beach County School Board is expected to vote whether to renew Latson's contract at its meeting July 24.

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