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Breaking News: Statement on Holocaust controversy at Spanish River High from school board chairman

Longtime Spanish River High principal is under fire for Holocaust denial emails, the Palm Beach Post reports.

Here’s the full statement by school board chairman Frank Barbieri:

As Board Chairman and on behalf of the School Board of Palm Beach County, I take this opportunity to reaffirm the Board’s commitment to Holocaust education.

The School Board of Palm Beach County is, and always has been, committed to teaching all students, in every grade level, a historically accurate Holocaust curriculum; one which leaves no room for erroneous revisions of fact or the scourge of anti-Semitism.

Every generation must recognize, and learn from the atrocities of the Holocaust’s  incomprehensible suffering and the enduring stain that it left on humankind. It is only through high-quality education, and thought-provoking conversations, that history won’t repeat itself.

The Palm Beach County School Board is invested in, and proud of, the District’s nationally recognized Holocaust curriculum. It far exceeds what has been mandated by the State of Florida (F.S. 1003.42) since 1994.

As a School Board, the six other members and I set policy requiring that state-mandated provisions be followed.

In addition to embedding Holocaust education into the curriculum of all grade levels, the District offers Holocaust Studies electives in high schools. It also organizes multiple programs and projects of study for all grade levels.

We are one of the few school districts that has a curriculum administrator dedicated solely to Holocaust Studies education. That administrator was recently presented with the nationally recognized, Robert I. Goldman Award for Excellence in Holocaust Education.

The School Board is also dedicated to our valued partnerships with numerous Jewish and Holocaust education centers.

As a Board we are committed to doubling down, educationally, with school and community. Visits are geared to enlightening any student or staff who doubt or question the undeniable facts of the Holocaust.

The School Board of Palm Beach County appreciates the feedback from those in our community who have made their voices heard. This follows publication of email messages between a parent and a principal.

It is only through thoughtful conversation that we continue to best serve the educational expectations and needs of our students.

It is now the duty of School District administration to press forward with their ongoing review of the situation.

As Board Chairman, I assure you that this situation is being investigated at the highest levels of the District Administration.


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