The classic saying “truth hurts” can apply to a handful of things in life, but it seems to hit particularly hard for some white people when it comes to learning about the history of slavery in America.
A Black principal faced that revelation directly when he was recently put on paid administrative leave after parents at his Texas high school complained that he was influencing critical race theory on students.
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James Whitfield, the first Black principal to serve at Colleyville Heritage High School in Texas, was the subject of a heated school board meeting back in July where he was called out by one parent in particular who felt that Whitfield promoting “conspiracy theory of systemic racism” was grounds to be fired. Surprisingly enough, many other parents agreed and even joined in with their own “fire him!” chants.
Here’s some more background on what resulted after that meeting occurred, via The Washington Post:
“‘I was not given any clear reasoning behind the decision and was not given a timetable regarding further steps,’ Whitfield said in a Facebook message. ‘I was simply told that it was in the best interest of the district.’
Schools Superintendent Robin Ryan sent parents an email announcing Whitfield’s suspension on Monday but did not provide a reason for the decision, KXAS-TV reported.
‘The decision to place Dr. Whitfield on administrative leave was not a result of the complaints made by members of the community against him,’ Kristin Snively, a spokeswoman for the district, said in an emailed statement. ‘As this is an ongoing personnel matter, we will not comment further. We remain committed to providing a learning environment at Colleyville Heritage that fosters and encourages student academic and extracurricular achievement.’”
Critical race theory is currently at the forefront of a public debate, where one side recognizes its importance in exposing the systems set in place that keep racism alive and others who see it as a ploy to further pit white and Black people against each other. Whitfield claims he actually didn’t promote it at all, telling The Post, “There’s no credence to the CRT claims,” and further adding, “This group that has spoken out against me has a problem with inclusivity, with embracing diversity and with providing equitable experiences for all students.”