A headteacher was ordered to take down a 'questionable photo of him and his wife so as not to 'stir up stuff', it has been alleged.
James Whitfield has spoken about the bizarre incident, which first cropped up back in 2019.
The head of Colleyville Heritage High School in Texas, US, revealed recently that he was asked by his employer to remove some intimate anniversary snaps from his social media channels.
However, Mr Whitfield said he wasn't given an explanation as to why he was being asked to take them down.
The request came just after he had just been promoted at the middle school, which should have been a really positive time for him and his family.
According to reports, a school administrator contacted Mr Whitfield and told him to check his emails immediately.
Logging on, he opened a forwarded message from the district's superintendent, which included a photo of him and his wife, Kerry, with the question: "Is this the Dr. Whitfield we want as an example for our students?"
He recalled: "I showed it to my wife, who immediately begins to well up with tears.
"They said, 'Could you take it down? Can you take this picture down? Can you hide it?' and I asked, 'Why? What's wrong with the picture?' It was, 'Hey, I am trying to avoid any conflict'."
Speaking to KXAS, he explained that the snaps were taken a decade ago to mark their 10th anniversary.
He said: "I wish I had the conviction to say, 'No, I'm not going to take it down - that's a picture of me and my wife kissing on the beach. There's no reason for me to take this photo down'."
While his wife believes that he was singled out because of his race and the fact he had a tattoo, the teacher thinks it is down to them being an interracial couple.
He also claimed that he had been accused by some of having taught critical race theory to pupils and proposing the idea that all white people are inherently racist.
These allegations were denied by Mr Whitfield in a post to Facebook.
It read: "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."
These claims, which were allegedly made in board meetings as well as on social media, have been denied by the district.
In a statement, Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District said it had every right to ask that the images were not visible on social media.
It read: "When a social media concern is brought to the attention of the district, we have a responsibility to review it.
"Some of the photos the district received contained poses that are questionable for an educator, especially a principal or administrator. It had absolutely nothing to do with race.
"As a new campus principal, we wanted to provide a smooth transition for Dr. Whitfield to Heritage Middle School, which is why we advised him of the concern and made a request for the photos to be taken down from Facebook."
Featured Image Credit: James Whitfield
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