In his lawsuit, Dr. David Phillips–who taught summer courses for high school students at the Governor’s School of North Carolina–claims that he was fired after hosting a series of lectures criticizing critical race theory. Attorneys for Phillips note that both students and staff at the school reacted negatively to his lectures.
A North Carolina teacher has filed a lawsuit against the state Department of Instruction, alleging that he lost his position at a well-known high school after criticizing critical race theory.
According to FOX News, the lawsuit was filed earlier this week by the Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of Dr. David Phillips.
In his complaint, Phillips alleges that the Governor’s School of North Carolina, a publicly-funded institution, fired him without explanation or cause after he lamented the school’s endorsement of what he characterizes as “racially divisive ideology.”
Phillips and his attorneys say that the Governor’s School adopted and teaches a variant of critical race theory, which the lawsuit describes as an academic model that uses “characteristics like race, sex, and religion” to brand certain members of society as “perpetual oppressors or victims.”
The Governor’s School, notes FOX News, is a publicly-funded summer program for gifted North Carolina high school seniors.
Dr. Phillips, who is alternately described as a “professor” and a “teacher” by different media outlets, says that he has taught classes at the Governor’s School for eight years.
Court filings indicate that Dr. Phillips hosted several optional courses that criticized critical race theory and the purported lack of intellectual diversity in higher education.
In his lawsuit, Phillips says that he was met with “open hostility” by students and staff after the conclusion of each lecture.
When responding to Phillips’ viewpoints, attendees allegedly “attacked whiteness, maleness, heterosexuality and Christianity.”
Phillips claims that he was fired after his third and final seminar.
While Phillips states that other staff members had apparently complained about his lectures, the teacher says the staff reports never culminated in an investigation and that he was never approached to offer an explanation.
Alliance for Defending Freedom attorney Hal Frampton said in a statement that his client was “unlawfully retaliated against” for protesting the school’s “ideological orthodoxy.”
“There is no lawful explanation for the way North Carolina public school officials treated Dr. Phillips,” Frampton said. “He was beloved, respected, and regarded by both students and faculty as an advocate for students who felt that their voices weren’t being heard and their perspectives weren’t welcomed at the Governor’s School. By firing him, the Governor’s School violated his constitutional right to free speech and unlawfully retaliated against him for deviating from the Governor’s School’s ideological orthodoxy.”
“In an academic environment committed to exploring a wide range of differing viewpoints, as the Governor’s School claims to be, no teacher should be fired for offering a reasoned critique of critical theory,” Frampton said.
As LegalReader.com has reported before, critical race theory was once little-known outside of higher-education courses and graduate-level seminars. While critical race theory broadly suggests that the inherent characteristics of the United States’ social, economic, and judicial institutions have fostered inequality, popular and often politically-charged reinterpretations of the model contest that it foments prejudice against White Americans.
Critical race theory is rarely taught to high school students.