Dr. James Whitfield, the principal of Colleyville Heritage High School, has been formally fired after weeks of controversy over critical race theory.
Earlier this month, Whitfield, the first Black principal, was suspended from his position.
Many of the parents were in an uproar from the beginning. First, the school forced Whitfield to remove a picture from his social media account and showed him and his white wife in an embrace.
After that, rumors swirled online that Whitfield was a proponent of critical race theory. Those rumors eventually made their way into a school board meeting where a defeated candidate for the board publicly made the accusation.
On Monday, the Grapevine-Colleyville school board trustees voted unanimously to proceed with the process that will almost ensure that Whitfield will be fired, reported NBC-DFW.
The vote comes after a recommendation from Superintendent Robin Ryan that Whitfield’s contract not be renewed. However, if successful, he will have the opportunity to appeal the decision and return for the 2022-2023 school year.
The trustees revealed their reason for recommending nonrenewal and cited activities such as deleting emails, insubordination, failure to cooperate with an internal investigation, and dishonesty with the media.
Thirty-five parents and students from Colleyville Heritage High School showed up at the Monday meeting to support Whitfield.
The Next Generation Action Network, a Dallas-area social justice organization, was also in attendance. They were made to turn their shirts inside out, however, in obedience to board rules.
Police asked several members of Next Generation Action Network to leave the meeting saying their shirts violate a school policy against “signage” in board meetings. They are protesting. pic.twitter.com/t5hLZUclhY
— ScottGordonNBC5 (@ScottGordonNBC5) September 20, 2021
Whitfield, speaking on his own behalf, addressed the board.
“I stand before you today no different than I was when I came in ’18-’19. I’m an advocate for all kids. 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,” he said.
Whitfield told Dallas outlet WFAA that he intends to follow through with the appeal.