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Grapevine-Colleyville ISD votes to charge the former director of NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Board members of the Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District have voted to take legal action against a former high school principal who previously sued them.

Dr. James Whitfield, the former principal of Colleyville Heritage High School, has been at the center of controversy since 2021 and was expected to attend Monday’s school board meeting.

Whitfield was fired by the school district three years ago after a group of parents accused him of racially dividing the Grapevine-Colleyville ISD and promoting what they saw as a “woke agenda.”

In 2023, Whitfield sued the school district for violating a confidentiality agreement. However, he lost the lawsuit, and now Grapevine-Colleyville ISD wants Whitfield to pay their legal bills.

On Monday, the school board voted 6-0-1 to sue Whitfield to recover legal costs from that lawsuit.

Members of the Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District on Monday, May 20, 2024, approved a vote to take legal action against former Colleyville Heritage High School principal Dr. James Whitefield.

In a 2021 interview with NBC 5, Whitfield said the district failed to defend him against the attacks, even ordering him to delete photos of him and his wife on a beach on social media.

Whitfield stated that Grapevine-Colleyville ISD told him they had complaints about their parents’ photos.

A North Texas school district asked a principal to remove a photo of him and his wife, not because of race, but because of questionable poses in other photos.
A North Texas school district asked a principal to remove a photo of him and his wife, not because of race, but because of questionable poses in other photos.

After several board meetings pitting Whitfield’s supporters and opponents against each other, Grapevine-Colleyville ISD and Whitfield parted ways. In a settlement agreement, they agreed not to defame each other.

Then new board member Tammy Nakamura spoke at a Republican town hall meeting, where, according to a legal complaint filed by Whitfield, she called him an activist and spoke about his personnel file. Whitfield sued, but lost.

The school district said it is facing challenges in remediating the situation in Whitfield. The company is now seeking reimbursement from the former director for the legal costs he incurred defending the lawsuit he filed, claiming he was acting in the best interests of taxpayer dollars.

A 2023 district survey found that 5% of respondents thought the district was moving in the wrong direction. In May 2024, school board members with opposing views were elected, each by narrow margins. This shows that the district is almost evenly divided in terms of leadership.



We begin with a new development in the controversial firing of a Grapevine-Colleyville ISD High School principal. Dr. James Whitfield was fired three years ago and is expected to attend Monday night’s district school board meeting. The district is considering a lawsuit against Whitfield. NBC 5’s Education reporter Wayne Carter explains.