A faculty board in Texas voted to not renew the contract of a Black highschool principal who had been thrust into the general public eye over racial points within the district, saying that he would stay on paid go away till his resignation takes impact in 2023.
The Grapevine-Colleyville Unbiased Faculty District made the choice throughout a board meeting on Monday at which supporters of the principal, James Whitfield, in addition to individuals who objected to his tenure spoke concerning the function of race and variety within the faculty.
After it introduced the vote, the district, which incorporates most of Grapevine and Colleyville, in addition to elements of the Dallas-Fort Price space, stated in an announcement that it and Dr. Whitfield, 43, “have mutually agreed to resolve their disputes.”
Dr. Whitfield, the primary Black principal at Colleyville Heritage Excessive Faculty, stated in an interview on Wednesday that it was a aid “to have the ability to transfer on.”
“It was good to listen to folks proceed to advocate for themselves and for different folks,” he stated.
Dr. Whitfield has been on paid go away since Aug. 30, after he was thrust into controversy at a public board assembly in July, when residents stated he supported instructing vital race principle in faculties, activism after the 2020 protests over the homicide of George Floyd, and applications on equality and variety.
“There are at all times going to be people who don’t agree with you,” Dr. Whitfield stated of the Monday board assembly, at which he stated some attendees voiced “baseless grievances.”
One lady stated Dr. Whitfield was persuading college students to develop into “political activists,” whereas one other speaker, who was recognized as Stetson Clark, asserted that “vital race principle, social and emotional studying, and fairness” have been amongst Dr. Whitfield’s “divisive ideologies.”
In August, Dr. Whitfield described vital race principle, which is an educational framework that seeks to grasp the roots and persistence of racial disparities, as a “doctoral stage” research and stated it was not a framework taught at his faculty.
After the July assembly, Dr. Whitfield objected in a Facebook post to being cited throughout that assembly by title, which is in opposition to coverage, and for the primary time revealed that the district had requested him in 2019 to take away outdated images from his private Fb account that confirmed him and his spouse, who’s white, embracing on a seashore.
Within the post, he stated he was revealing the request to take away the images as a result of he has had a way since 2019, which he stated was confirmed by the criticisms within the board assembly, that race would overshadow his tenure as a Black educator rising within the ranks of the general public faculty system.
In September, with Dr. Whitfield already on go away, the district proposed not renewing his contract, which ends in June 2022, and set a listening to for Nov. 9.
The district stated its causes for the choice included a failure to keep up an efficient working relationship. Robin Ryan, the district’s superintendent, added that the advice was “not about Dr. Whitfield’s race.”
“It isn’t about photos of Dr. Whitfield,” he continued. “It isn’t about vital race principle. It isn’t about sure people in our group calling for his resignation or his firing.”
However the district later stated it reached an settlement that included paid go away till his resignation on Aug. 15, 2023, and accredited it within the vote on Monday.
A duplicate of the settlement stated its phrases “compromise disputed claims, keep away from litigation and purchase peace.”
In its assertion on Monday, the district stated that it and Dr. Whitfield “have been within the media incessantly in current weeks in regards to the disputes between them,” and that every “strongly imagine they’re in the best.”
Dr. Whitfield, within the interview, stated he couldn’t talk about the settlement. However he mirrored on those that used vital race principle as a technique to criticize him.
“As a Black man in America, I do know that systemic racism is actual,” he stated.
“What’s ironic is individuals who don’t need it, what they’re doing via this course of is they’re giving folks a real-life sensible course on vital race principle,” he stated. “They’re displaying folks a really actual instance of how vital race principle performs out.”