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One school principal is being punished for speaking the truth. Dr. James Whitfield, the first Black principal of Colleyville High school in Texas, was put on leave in August for accusations he was promoting Critical Race Theory (CRT) in the school’s educational agenda.
While students, teachers, and parents alike defended Dr. Whitfield, the school board unanimously decided not to renew his contract as principal. Meanwhile, at Monday’s board meeting, nearly three dozen supporters spoke on Dr. Whitfield’s behalf.
One resident who spoke out said, “It is not OK to make baseless accusations about what our schools are teaching, particularly when all you know about the topic is what’s been told by professional propagandists. To the board: It is not OK to punish a respected educator for defending himself when you could not find the intestinal fortitude to defend him as you, yourself, should’ve done.”
Letter about systemic racism leads to accusations of teaching critical race theory
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.
Critical Race Theory or CRT, teaches students the real history of the United States, from chattel slavery to colonization to today’s police brutality and carcereal systems. Opponents of CRT, many of whom refuse to believe that systemic and structural racism exist in the United States, believe that it pushes an anti-white agenda.
Meanwhile, there has been no evidence that Dr. Whitfield promoted study on Critical Race Theory, nor does CRT show up as part of the Colleyville High School curriculum. However, the vocal minority of those accusing Dr. Whitfield of teaching Critical Race Theory won out in Colleyville, where the school board voted unanimously not to renew Dr. Whitfield’s contract as principal.
For his part, Dr. Whitfield, the first Black principal in 25 years, is not deterred. In an Instagram post, he wrote, “I will defend my words and my right to speak up against hate, intolerance, and bigotry.” His term expires at the end of the school year.