Antonia Hylton et al., NBC News, November 10, 2021
The Black principal of a majority-white Texas high school who has been embroiled in a controversy over critical race theory was forced to resign after months of accusations that he indoctrinated students.
The Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District board of trustees voted Monday to part ways with the principal, James Whitfield, who was suspended this year at Colleyville Heritage High School in the Fort Worth area.
The school board had voted in September not to renew Whitfield’s contract, NBC Dallas-Forth Worth reported.
Whitfield will remain on paid administrative leave until August 2023.
Parents accused Whitfield of pushing critical race theory, or CRT, which has become a flashpoint for people who say efforts to teach America’s difficult history on race and to make classrooms more comfortable with diversity have become too divisive.
There is no evidence that Colleyville Heritage High School or Whitfield taught critical race theory, but a host of incidents made him a target in recent months, including allegations of insubordination and accusations that he deleted emails as public records and did not cooperate with an internal investigation, NBC Dallas-Forth Worth reported.
Texas is one of eight states with broad new laws banning the teaching of critical race theory, a decades-old graduate-level study that examines the relationship between the law and racial inequality.
Some people said at Monday’s school board hearing that the controversy was purely political, while others said it shines a negative light on the community.
“It’s going to sound crazy, but for those who have been following this, this is Christian nationalism. This is white Christian nationalism. That’s what I think is happening here,” said a parent, Laura Leeman. “I think that a lot of people who really support public education and do support diversity have been asleep at the wheel. And there’s no time for us to sleep.”