Dad and mom, lecturers, and college students had been livid when a beloved highschool principal in Texas was suspended from his submit at Colleyville Excessive Faculty final month. Dr. James Whitfield, the varsity’s first Black principal, was placed on administrative go away after being accused of pushing important race idea within the college’s curriculum. Now, it appears as if their makes an attempt to save lots of him had been all in useless. On Monday evening, the Grapevine Colleyville Unbiased Faculty District voted unanimously to not renew Whitfield’s contract.
After a prolonged dialogue about budgeting and tax charges, board members opened the ground to neighborhood members who had ready speeches to share in assist of Whitfield. After being warned from the board that there could be no “noise or clapping” in the course of the section, practically three dozen attendees took to the rostrum on Whitfield’s behalf.
“I grew up within the Jim Crow South, and what’s happening right here shouldn’t be significantly new. It’s an previous playbook,” one resident of Grapevine, who stated she lived within the space for 10 years, stated. “However to beat it, we have to begin being very clear about what’s OK and what’s not OK—or we’re going to proceed being bullied by a reactionary minority.
“It isn’t OK to make baseless accusations about what our colleges are instructing, significantly when all you understand concerning the subject is what’s been instructed by skilled propagandists. It isn’t OK to exhibit contempt for one more human being by making salacious feedback about his household… To the board: It isn’t OK to punish a revered educator for defending himself when you could possibly not discover the intestinal fortitude to defend him as you, your self, ought to’ve performed.”
Through the summer season of 2020 as a racial awakening swept the nation after George Floyd protests, Whitfield wrote a letter to the tutorial neighborhood. In it, he stated, “Training is the important thing to stomping out ignorance, hate, and systemic racism.”
That letter appeared to immediate accusations that he was pushing important race idea at school.
In July, Whitfield was accused by a failed school board candidate of supporting important race idea being taught in colleges. Quickly after, Whitfield was placed on paid go away. The superintendent of Grapevine-Colleyville colleges then submitted a request that Whitfield’s stint as principal of Colleyville Heritage Excessive Faculty would finish.
There’s no evidence that important race idea is a part of the varsity curriculum and Whitfield has been adamant that he has not proven any public assist for it.
After receiving the information, Whitfield stated in a Facebook post, “I used to be not given any clear reasoning behind the choice and was not given a timetable relating to additional steps. I used to be merely instructed that it was in the very best curiosity of the district.”
Monday’s assembly was not the primary time the neighborhood spoke out about what they stated was unjust therapy of Whitfield. College students deliberate school walkouts, and fogeys have been vocal on social media about their assist of Whitfield.
At Monday’s assembly, a graduate of Colleyville Excessive Faculty who stated she additionally served for 15 years because the assistant coach for a few the district’s college’s debate groups, stated: “Maya Angelou stated, ‘When somebody reveals you who they’re, imagine them the primary time.’ …Dr. Whitfield has additionally proven us who he’s: He’s heat and welcoming to his college students…he’s additionally a person of precept. He has additionally proven us that he’s prepared to carry us accountable as a various neighborhood the place white voices have lengthy drown out range. …We must always all discuss much less and hear extra to Dr. Whitfield.”
As applause broke out and the board needed to remind attendees that there could be no noise of any form, a district mother or father stood as much as make a speech.
“I began a petition in assist of this gentleman over right here,” the lady stated whereas pointing within the path of Whitfield. “That petition now has 2200-plus signatures.”
One other mother or father—and an alumna of Grapevine Excessive Faculty—stated that she liked rising up within the space “however what I’ve seen taking place, it actually makes me unhappy.” She continued, “[Whitfield] is understood by his supporters as an enthusiastic educator—and never the CRT boogeyman. And talking for him, he’s being impugned although we’ve got a range advisory council for doing what the remainder of the district and he ought to be doing.”
Nonetheless, the board authorised Monday evening that Whitfield’s contract could be terminated on the finish of the present college 12 months. He nonetheless has the chance to appeal the decision and lead Colleyville Excessive Faculty into the 2022-23 tutorial 12 months. He must present evidence and a testimony to argue his case if he needs to start out a brand new contract.
Important race idea has develop into some extent of rivalry for conservatives and racism truthers who discover the idea to be anti-patriotic. It focuses on the methods racism has been systemic in American culture, how sure teams of individuals have benefited from it and the way others haven’t. Although educators within the K-12 realm have been fast to assault the ideology, it’s often primarily taught in legislation college settings.
Whitfield is the first Black principal of Colleyville Excessive Faculty’s 25-year historical past. He took the function in 2020.