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A Black North Texas manager agreed to resign after being put on paid administrative leave in August amid accusations he taught and promoted critical breed theory.
James Whitfield chose to resign as principal of Colleyville Heritage High School and the school board unanimously agreed on Monday. His resignation will not be official until August 15, 2023. As part of a settlement between Whitfield and the District, he will remain on paid administrative leave until then.
âI’m ready to turn the next page,â Whitfield told the Texas Tribune on Wednesday.
The deal apparently ends Whitfield’s uphill battle with the school district that dates back to July 26, when he was first accused of teaching critical breed theory at a school board meeting from the Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District by Stetson Clark, a former candidate for the district school board.
Clark said Whitfield “was encouraging the disruption and destruction of our district” because Whitfield, the school’s first black principal, wrote a letter to the community in the summer of 2020 detailing how hurt he was by the death of three black Americans: George Floyd in Minnesota, Breonna Taylor in Kentucky and Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia.
In the days that followed, Whitfield found himself at the center of the debate over how breed is taught in Texas schools. He received a disciplinary letter from the district a few weeks later and was placed on administrative leave shortly thereafter.
Colleyville is a predominantly white city with just 1% of residents identifying as Black or African American, according to census data. Median household income exceeds $ 150,000.
Going forward, Whitfield believes his work in education is not done. Over the next year, he wants to work closely with educators and students, especially helping teachers who fear what has happened to him will happen to them.
“I know there are so many people under these attacks and it is my biggest fear because this profession means so much to me,” he said.
Whitfield added that he does not regret what has happened in the past two months, he is happy to have stood up for what he believed in and he hopes this is what people can learn from his situation. .
Critical Race Theory, or CRT, is an academic discipline typically taught at the university level. The central idea of ââthe theory is that racism is not something limited to individuals, but that prejudice is something embedded in policies and legal systems.
Opposition to critical race theory has become a rallying cry for Republican leaders in Texas, who claim it indoctrinates students and teaches white students that they are racist. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick called it a “ridiculous leftist narrative.” Governor Greg Abbott called for its abolition in Texas schools.
Lawmakers finally adopted Bill 3979, which restricts how teachers can discuss current affairs, encourage civic engagement, and teach the history of racism in the United States. And in the second extraordinary session, lawmakers successfully adopted Senate Bill 3, a more restrictive version of the House bill which replace HB 3979 on December 2.
Among other things, SB 3 prohibits schools from integrating political activism into a course and says teachers cannot be compelled to talk about a “widely debated and currently controversial issue of public policy or social affairs.” .
Now, GOP lawmakers have turned their attention to the books children have access to in schools.
Earlier this week, Abbott called on the Texas Education Agency, along with the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and the State Board of Education, to develop statewide standards to prevent “content. obscene in Texas public schools â.
State Representative Matt Krause of Fort Worth, candidate for the state attorney general, recently launched an investigation into the types of books students can access in Texas schools, which included a list of 850 books. Titles on the list range from children’s books and anti-bullying tips to novels that deal with racism and sexuality.