Board votes to not renew contract of Black principal initially focused for photographs with white spouse

Whitfield is the primary Black principal to steer Colleyville Heritage Excessive Faculty. He has repeatedly denied what he calls “baseless allegations” raised at a faculty board assembly that he has been instructing vital race concept. The framework maintains the U.S. authorized system, and the legal guidelines it has produced are rooted in racism. And whereas tales like Whitfield’s paradoxically level to simply how a lot reality there may be within the concept, educators have been banned from instructing the framework in lots of locations, including Texas, as Republicans use misunderstandings in regards to the concept as a method of additional whitewashing historical past instruction. 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into legislation a bill over the summer time that states a instructor “will not be compelled to debate” present occasions or controversial problems with social affairs. If a instructor chooses to debate such matters, that educator ought to “discover the subject from various and contending views with out giving deference to anybody perspective.” The legislation, which went into impact on September 1, is Texas’ model of a ban on instructing the impacts of slavery, the Republican branding on vital race concept. Legislators don’t point out the framework by title of their ban. No, that will be a bit too on the nostril for Republicans. They as a substitute handed basic language that, on a primary skim, could not appear alarming however, if truth be told, limits dialog in a approach that fails to serve college students of coloration specifically, and all college students to some extent.

Republicans weren’t profitable of their try to practically remove women and people of color from a portion of the required social research curriculum outright. Nonetheless, they have been capable of cross as a part of the laws a ban on Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones’ “1619 Project.” The challenge accurately asserts that “no facet of the nation” has been “untouched by the years of slavery” that adopted the primary slave ship’s arrival to the coastal port of the English colony of Virginia in August of 1619. Different ideas banned within the legislation are that which present the “creation of slavery” is the “true founding of america” or that a person, by advantage of the person ’s race or intercourse, bears accountability for actions dedicated previously by different members of the identical race or intercourse.”

The Texas chapter of the American Federation of Academics referred to as the laws a “horrible instance for our schoolchildren” in a statement launched in Could. “The precise references by Republicans to banning Vital Race Principle and the 1619 Challenge make it clear that they need this to be a wedge concern for state and native political races,” the federation wrote. “The invoice is a part of a nationwide motion by conservatives making an attempt to sow a story of scholars being indoctrinated by lecturers. Our members rightfully have expressed outrage towards this insult of their professionalism to offer balanced conversations with college students on controversial points.

“Texas AFT and greater than 70 different academic organizations oppose this invoice.”

Whitfield informed board members on the assembly concerning his job: “I stand earlier than you at this time no totally different than I used to be once I got here in ’18-’19. I am an advocate for all youngsters. I imagine each pupil no matter race, faith, sexual orientation, no matter bucket you need to put them in, I imagine they need to have entry to glorious equitable training. Sure, I stated these phrases.”


Members of the Subsequent Era Motion Community, a lobbying group for social change, wore pink T-shirts on the assembly, which they attended in assist of Whitfield. NBC DFW reported that they have been requested to show their shirts inside out as a result of they violated a rule prohibiting “signage” at board conferences. “The combat ain’t over. It’s simply starting,” one activist may very well be seen shouting after the assembly adjourned. One other protester shouted: “Dr. Ryan, you attacked the credibility of man. You might be mistaken. You might be mistaken, and you must sleep with that.”


Whitfield wrote in a Facebook post responding to allegations towards him on July 31 that he’s not the vital race concept “Boogeyman.” “I’m the primary African American to imagine the function of Principal at my present college in its 25-year historical past, and I’m keenly conscious of how a lot concern this strikes within the hearts of a small minority who would a lot fairly issues return to the best way they was,” he wrote. “However right here’s the deal – I’m right here, so let’s dive into their claims about me.”

Whitfield stated his critics disproved of his assist of the Southern Poverty Legislation Heart, particularly his suggestion of creator Lonnie Bunch III’s A Idiot’s Errand: Creating the Nationwide Museum of African American Historical past and Tradition within the Age of Bush, Obama, and Trump. They disapproved of his name to finish systemic racism following the homicide of George Floyd, and so they disproved of photographs he took along with his spouse on a seaside in Mexico, the place they have been celebrating their fifth anniversary. Whitfield was requested to take the photographs down, and having simply earned the principalship place on June 27, 2019, he obliged.

It was at this second that I knew the assault that we at the moment endure, was coming,” he stated within the Fb put up later recounting the expertise. “There are quite a few examples of those types of racist threats and statements directed my approach, however I continued to take the excessive highway and give attention to my mission and goal, as nothing was ever accomplished to alleviate or deter these threats on my behalf.”

Lawyer David Henderson, who’s representing Whitfield, stated in an announcement launched on Wednesday that he’s not often seen a Board of Trustees “mislead the general public” the best way the Grapevine-Colleyville college board did. Henderson additionally stated the trustees “mischaracterized its determination as a ‘procedural step.'” “Nevertheless, the Board’s vote is ultimate. Dr. Whitfield should efficiently attraction the Board’s determination to keep away from successfully being fired as principal of Colleyville-Heritage Excessive Faculty,” Henderson stated. “Most Individuals imagine individuals deserve a good listening to earlier than being condemned. GCISD was solely keen to grant Dr. Whitfield sixty seconds. Moreover, it refused to elucidate why it opposed him till greater than an hour after he spoke. GCISD’s ongoing lack of transparency and unfair therapy have compelled Dr. Whitfield to hunt a extra degree taking part in discipline the place he’ll lastly obtain due course of.”

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