A Black Texas high school principal sent a letter on race to his school in June 2020.
The letter was brought up in a school board meeting in July 2021.
James Whitfield resigned on Monday following months of allegations that he indoctrinated students.
A Black high school principal who was suspended in September following a months-long controversy over critical race theory has resigned, NBC News reported.
KTXA reported that James Whitfield, the principal of Heritage High School in Colleyville announced a delayed resignation as part of a settlement with the Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District board.
Whitfield said he would remain on paid leave until August 15, 2023, KTXA reported.
The Texas-Tribune reported that Whitfield sent a letter to the school community in June 2020 in the midst of nationwide racial protests that said systemic racism is “alive and well.”
Whitfield, the Tribune reported, was the first Black principal at his high school. He told the Tribune that he didn’t hear any negative feedback on the letter until a July 26, 2021 school board meeting.
At that July meeting, Stetson Clark, a former school board candidate at Grapevine-Colleyville ISD alleged that Whitfield was teaching and promoting “critical race theory.”
“He is encouraging the disruption and destruction of our district,” Clark said.
Critical race theory looks at race as something that’s socially constructed and oppresses people of color and suggests institutions help uphold and maintain inequality between white people and people of color.
NBC News reported that Whitfield was initially suspended from his job in September with the chance to defend himself in a hearing on November 9.
The school district told NBC News in September that it “proposed the nonrenewal of Whitfield’s contract due to deficiencies in his performance as principal that have been documented and discussed” and that “critical race theory” wasn’t a factor.
KTXA reported that Whitfield sent in a resignation which was accepted by the school board on Monday.
In a joint statement obtained by NBC News, Whitfield and the school district said they agreed to resolve their disputes.
“Both the District and Dr. Whitfield each strongly believe they are in the right. However, each also agrees that the division in the community about this matter has impacted the education of the District’s students,” the statement read, according to NBC News.
Whitfield told NBC News that this was “beyond him.”
“I’m hopeful that we can use this to move forward and to progress and get some true meaningful change and for people to be OK with teaching truth, people to be OK with embracing inclusivity and diversity, celebrating every student that walks through the doors of our schools,” he told the outlet.
Insider was unable to reach Whitfield or the school district at the time of publication.
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