Colleyville Heritage Principal Peddling Critical Race Theory was Recently Placed on Paid Leave
James Whitfield, the principal of Colleyville Heritage High School, has recently been placed on administrative leave.
Superintendent Robin Ryan sent out a letter to parents on August 30, 2021 explaining that Whitfield is on administrative leave but opted to “not go into the specifics because it is a personnel matter.”
Whitfield is Colleyville Heritage High’s first black principal. Whitfield told The Dallas Morning News on the night of August 30 that he was placed on leave for an indefinite period of time “because the superintendent has ‘determined that doing so is in the best interest of the District.’”
“I have done nothing wrong by anyone,” Whitfield defended himself.
This move didn’t just come out of the blue. A week prior, the principal and a group of supporters were in attendance at a school board meeting to confront a group of parents who claimed he was teaching Critical Race Theory.
Several sources in the school district assert that CRT is not taught in the Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District.
During a previous school board meeting, the group of concerned parents mentioned Whitfield by name and accused him of teaching CRT — behavior that goes against school board meeting rules.
“I’ve only chosen to speak out against baseless allegations after [the district] allowed a man to speak my name at the July 26 board meeting,” Whitlock stated.
The man in question, Stetson Clark, lost a school board race by a narrow margin in May to incumbent member Becky St. John.
On July 31, Whitfield addressed claims in a long-winded Facebook post he made. According to Anna Caplan of The Dallas Morning News, Whitfield “wrote that he can’t ask others to speak up if he won’t, and that being a school administrator ‘does not take away my rights and ability to be human and defend myself.’”
“I am not the CRT (Critical Race Theory) Boogeyman. 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,” Whitfield wrote.
In the same post, the principal alluded to an incident where a school administrator requested that Whitfield take down a photo of him and his wife, Kerrie, from his Facebook page.
“No one from ‘above’ ever mentioned anything else about it, but the damage was inflicted on us in profound ways,” Whitfield posted. “It was at this moment that I knew the attack that we currently endure, was coming.” Whitfield tried to play the race card with regards to the photo incident.
The district sent a statement to KXAS-TV (NBC5), claiming that the photos it received “contained poses that are questionable for an educator, especially a principal or administrator. It had absolutely nothing to do with race.”
“The photo that aired in initial media reports was not the only photo that was received by the District,” Kristin Snively, executive director of communications for the district, told The Dallas Morning News. “Had that photo been the only image, there would have been no request to remove it.”
In the letter the superintendent released on August 30, Ryan informed parents that “the entire District leadership team and I are fully committed to the success and well-being of Colleyville Heritage students as we move forward together.”
Dave Denning, a former Grapevine High School principal, will step into the role of interim principal, Ryan announced.
“We remain committed to providing a learning environment that fosters and encourages student academic and extracurricular achievement,” Ryan stated. “I am grateful for your partnership and look forward to working with you to serve and support the students of Colleyville Heritage High School.”
Whitfield maintains that the move by the district was not about “personnel” and, in fact, felt like a personal slight.
Rather than “issuing their support of me, they came after me,” Whitfield remarked.
This case demonstrates the power of local school board activism.
While public schooling is sub-optimal, parents can still check its excesses by racing hell at school board meetings. When leftists face credible resistance, they usually think twice about peddling toxic theories like CRT.