Dr. David Phillips is suing the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, claiming he was wrongfully terminated, according to CBS17. Phillips claims his First Amendment rights were violated because his termination was the result of a controversial lecture hosted on Winston-Salem State’s campus.
Phillips filed a 61-page lawsuit in Wake County Superior Court alleging that of his eight years of teaching English, 2021 was the first time he’d received pushback on his lessons, the report says. That year, he offered three optional seminars at the Governor’s School West at WSSU. In those lectures (on the historically BLACK university campus), he slammed CRT as “racially divisive” and accused the curriculum of labeling people as “oppressors” and “victims” based on race. It looks like another white person has taken CRT a bit too personally.
NC public school officials fired him mid-semester, per the report. Phillips’ attorney Hal Frampton claims there was no lawful explanation to justify the professor’s termination.
“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,” Frampton said in a statement. “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.”
Read more about the suit from CBS17:
The papers filed by the group indicate after eight years of working as an English educator at the accelerated academic summer program, Phillips started to get some pushback.
Despite using materials from his previous curriculums, some students and staff were not happy with his lectures. Phillips reported he stayed behind each lecture to answer questions, despite the concern. But that wasn’t enough.
“The next thing you know, Dr. Phillips was unceremoniously fired, ironically, the day after he gave a seminar on the importance of viewpoint diversity in higher education,” said Frampton. “There was no… ‘here’s what people are saying happened’…’can you tell us the real story?’ There was no investigation. Nothing that you would expect to see in a case like this.”