A North Carolina professor has claimed that he was fired from a prestigious high school for criticizing critical race theory in a Friday lawsuit, according to a report from Fox 17 WZTV.
In the suit, filed by legal the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal advocacy group, Dr. David Phillips alleges that the Governor’s School of North Carolina (NCGS), a publicly funded summer program, fired him without explanation after he criticized the school’s embrace of “racially divisive ideology.”
Philips claims that NCGS adopted a social approach that views members of society “through the lens of characteristics like race, sex, and religion” and labels them as “perpetual oppressors or victims” based on group membership.
The professor, who taught at the school for eight years, held three optional summers over the summer where he critiqued critical race theory, as well as a lack of diversity in viewpoints in higher education. He also urged attendees to examine speech through a lens of “speech-act theory,” which asserts that the meaning of a linguistic expression can be explained in terms of rules governing their use in performing various speech acts, such as commanding and warning.
The lawsuit states that Phillips was met with “open hostility” following the conclusion of each lecture by both students and staff. It also claims that audience members “attacked whiteness, maleness, heterosexuality and Christianity” when making comments and asking questions at the seminars.
Philips also alleges that he was fired the day after his third and final seminar without explanation and learned that staff complained about his seminars but was never approached to address their concerns nor was an investigation opened. He was allegedly told that he could not appeal the decision.
ADF attorney Hal Frampton said education officials, in firing Phillips, violated his constitutional right to free speech and “unlawfully retaliated against him” for standing against the 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,” ADF Senior Counsel Hal Frampton said in a press release.
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NC DPI) did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
In a previous comment to Fox 17, the NC DPI said: “Mr. Phillips was an employee of Governor’s School during summer 2021. The Department of Public Instruction maintains that it fully complied with all legal requirements. However, as this is a personnel matter, no additional information can be shared at this time.”
Phillip’s termination comes after several other teachers over the past year claimed that they were fired under similar circumstances.
Last December, a Massachusetts teacher sued Hanover High School’s principal and district superintendent and claimed she was fired over her TikTok posts defying critical race theory and transgenderism.
A month earlier, an Indianapolis school administrator said he was banned from school buildings and locked out of his school email account after accusing the Indianapolis Public Schools of pushing critical race theory on children.