A Texas School Board voted against renewing the contract for James Whitfield, the first-ever Black principal of Heritage High School, in Colleyville, because of a long battle over critical race theory.
Whitfield’s battle began in 2020 after he wrote a letter to parents regarding the murder of George Floyd, in which he wrote that systemic racism was “alive and well.”
Whitfield initially received strong support for his letter. Still, a year later, during a school board meeting’s open forum on July 26, a former school board candidate called systemic racism a conspiracy theory and accused Whitfield of promoting critical race theory before calling on the board to fire him.
Weeks after that meeting, the school district sent Whitfield a disciplinary letter and placed him on administrative leave on Aug. 30.
Last Monday the school the board unanimously voted against renewing Whitfield’s contract for the next school year.
The board cited Whitfield’s alleged deficiencies in communication, insubordination, failure to comply with board policies, failure to meet professional conduct, dividing the community, and failure to maintain effective relationships with the community.
Whitfield told Buzzfeed News that people shouldn’t get caught up in the critical race theory “battle” because it’s not even taught in public schools.
“What they’re attacking is anything with a sibilance of inclusive, equitable, and welcoming environment that celebrates diversity,” Whitfield explained. “That’s what the attack is on. While they don’t want to talk about systemic racism, they don’t want to acknowledge that that’s a thing,” he said.