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Black Texas high school principal is placed on leave over claims he taught CRT


On Monday, James Whitfield, 43, (pictured) principal at Colleyville Heritage High School in Dallas-Fort Worth, was placed on leave three months after Stenson Clark accused him of having ‘extreme views on race,’ calling for him to be fired.

A black Texas high school principal was placed on paid administrative leave this week after a former school board candidate accused him of teaching and promoting critical race theory.

On Monday, James Whitfield, 43, principal at Colleyville Heritage High School in Dallas-Fort Worth, was placed on leave three months after Stenson Clark accused him of having ‘extreme views on race,’ calling for him to be fired.

Clark said he was initially concerned about Whitfield’s views last summer, after seeing a letter the principal sent to parents and students. 

‘In this letter he promotes the conspiracy theory of systemic racism…’ Clark said. ‘He is encouraging the disruption and destruction of our districts.’ 

Clark attacked Whitfield’s social media posts, saying he promotes material that aligns with critical race theory.  

In lengthy July 31 Facebook post, Whitfield denied Clark’s accusations, writing that Clark had disobeyed district rules by addressing him by name at a school board meeting. 

Whitfield added that he experienced numerous racial attacks during the past several months, in addition for being criticized for speaking out after the death of George Floyd.

Stenson Clark (pictured) said he was initially concerned about Whitfield's views last summer, after seeing a letter the principal sent to parents and students

Stenson Clark (pictured) said he was initially concerned about Whitfield’s views last summer, after seeing a letter the principal sent to parents and students

In a July 31 Facebook post, Whitfield denied Clark's accusations, writing that Clark had disobeyed district rules by addressing him informally by his first name at a school board meeting

In a July 31 Facebook post, Whitfield denied Clark’s accusations, writing that Clark had disobeyed district rules by addressing him informally by his first name at a school board meeting

He wrote: ‘At the last GCISD school board meeting, an individual was allowed to speak my name in a public open forum (against the rules) and I can no longer maintain my silence in the face of this hate, intolerance, racism, and bigotry. For the better part of the last year, I’ve been told repeatedly to just ‘get around the fact that there are some racist people’ and ‘just deal with it and stay positive’ each time the racist tropes reared their heads, but I will stay silent no longer.’

‘I am not the CRT (Critical Race Theory) Boogeyman,’ Whitefield added. ‘I am the first African American to assume the role of Principal at my current school in its 25-year history, and I am keenly aware of how much fear this strikes in the hearts of a small minority who would much rather things go back to the way they used to be.’  

In a statement to CNN, the Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District said the accusations brought against Whitfield were not the cause of his suspension.  

In a statement to CNN, the Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District said the accusations brought against Whitfield were not the cause of his suspension

In a statement to CNN, the Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District said the accusations brought against Whitfield were not the cause of his suspension

Last month, Whitfield said race was at the forefront of his bosses' decision to force him take down photos of him embracing and kissing his white wife from social media

Last month, Whitfield said race was at the forefront of his bosses’ decision to force him take down photos of him embracing and kissing his white wife from social media

Whitfield said he received an email from the district about a beachside photoshoot he took with his wife, Kerrie, for their anniversary a decade ago

Whitfield said he received an email from the district about a beachside photoshoot he took with his wife, Kerrie, for their anniversary a decade ago

The couple had hired a professional photographer to take pictures of them at the beach for their anniversary a decade ago. Whitfield had the photos up on his social media

The couple had hired a professional photographer to take pictures of them at the beach for their anniversary a decade ago. Whitfield had the photos up on his social media

‘We remain committed to providing a learning environment at Colleyville Heritage that fosters and encourages student academic and extracurricular achievement,’ Robin Ryan, the district’s superintendent said in a letter to parents on Monday.

After the school board announced the principal’s suspension, dozens of Colleyville Heritage High School students rallied outside the Grapevine-Colleyville school district administration building on Monday to support Whitfield. 

More than 30 students held up signs proclaiming ‘I stand with Dr. Whitfield’ and ‘Hate has no home in GCISD,’ as several counter protesters observed nearby. 

Last month, Whitfield said race was at the forefront of his bosses’ decision to force him take down photos of him embracing and kissing his white wife from social media.

Whitfield said he received an email from the district about a beachside photoshoot he took with his wife, Kerrie, for their anniversary a decade ago.

‘I look at the picture, and I look at the words above it, and it says, ‘Is this the Dr. Whitfield we want leading our schools?’ I showed it to my wife, who immediately begins to well up with tears,’ Whitfield said.   

He claims the photos received complaints back then because it featured an interracial couple. 

Although he removed the pictures, Whitfield went public with the story last week after a heated meeting between Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District officials and parents over race on July 26, The New York Times reports. 



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