The principal of Colleyville Independent School in Texas, has been removed by the district school board for allegedly promoting critical race theory, though he has denied the same. He was told by the school board to remove intimate Facebook snaps with his white wife.
Dr. James Whitfield, the school's first Black principal, was put on administrative leave in August 2021 after being accused of pushing critical race theory in the school's curriculum.
School Board Accused Whitfield of Teaching and Promoting CRT
Despite protests from students and activists, the Grapevine Colleyville Independent School District school board unanimously voted 7-0 to oust Whitfield from his position by not renewing his contract in the upcoming school year.
Over the summer, Dr. Whitfield wrote a letter to his fellow educators, in which he stated: "Education is the key to stomping out ignorance, hate, and systemic racism." That one statement led to concern in the community that the long-time teacher was suggesting the school educate students on critical race theory, reported The BWSTimes.
District officials alleged that Whitfield has been propagating the idea on social media and in public, thereby "dividing large sections of the community by continuing to raise issues of critical race theory."
Series of Cozy Beachside Photos
Concerns were also raised from the district about a decade-old beachside photoshoot he took with his wife for a previous wedding anniversary, according to the Daily Mail. The intimate photos on Facebook, taken on the occasion of their wedding anniversary ten years ago, showed the couple hugging and kissing on a beach while being fully clothed and decent.
Whitfield denied teaching CRT and said, "I believe every student regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, whatever bucket you want to put them in.. I believe they should have access to excellent equitable education. Yes, I said those words. Unfortunately, my unapologetic stance for those things has brought us here tonight which is disheartening."
According to The Daily Beast, after being warned by the board that there would be no "noise or clapping" during the segment, nearly three dozen attendees took to the podium on Whitfield's behalf during the Monday's meeting.
"It's honestly so undeserved and unjust on the part of the school board," Colleyville Heritage senior Grace Nguyen said, according to CBS DFW.
Colleyville Heritage senior Sunehra Chowdhury said, "It's been an overall negative effect and a lot of people in this district have felt as if something has shifted and it's not for the better."
The vote does not terminate Whitfield's contract for the 2022-23 school year but will force Whitfield to publicly defend his position before facing a final vote.
Social Media Reactions
Some netizens are slamming the school board for suspending the 'beloved' high school principal. #IStandwithDrWhitfield was trending on Twitter.
One user wrote, "U know @GCISD should be ashamed of what they've done. I hope this principal sues. Get ready to pay him. Another wrote, "I hope he sues the school district for every last dime for their overt racism."
One comment read, "For the many obvious reasons that this is insane, most people are completely skipping the biggest reason: PRINCIPALS DON'T TEACH ANYTHING! Trust me. Admin sit in offices and answer phone calls. Not one of them has been in a classroom, or even around kids, in AGES!"
Another user shared, "I believe many of the white folks were offended by his photograph of him and his white spouse, racism is in the fabric of America."