Themacforums – Backlash Grows Against DeSantis Decision to Block AP African American Studies Class. Since his administration decided to forbid an Advanced Placement high school course on African American studies, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has come under increasing pressure to reverse the decision. Black leaders have gathered in the state’s capital, a well-known civil rights attorney has threatened to sue, and state legislators have urged him to do so.
By refusing to approve the course, DeSantis, according to attorney Ben Crump, violated both the federal and state constitutions on Wednesday. A 2010 Arizona law that barred a Mexican American studies program from Tucson public schools was declared illegal by a federal judge, according to his legal team, who also determined that the measure’s authors were “motivated by racial animus.”
According to the state Department of Education, the course is “inexplicably against Florida law.” Lessons on race must be taught in “an objective fashion” and “not used to indoctrinate or influence children to a specific point of view,” according to a new education law supported by DeSantis. The statute, according to some educators and advocates, is so broadly drafted that it is preventing the teaching of Black history.
Before introducing the children, Crump said, “If he does not negotiate with the College Board to let AP African American Studies be taught in classrooms throughout the state of Florida, these three young people will be the main plaintiffs in a historic lawsuit.”
Crump has pledged that DeSantis “cannot eradicate our culture” and has been involved in a number of high-profile civil rights cases involving Black Americans.
This month’s announcement by the DeSantis administration that a pilot Advanced Placement course on Black history would not be authorized by the state Department of Education because it violated state law and “lacked instructional merit” sparked the latest debate over Florida’s educational practices.
A list of “concerns” in the curriculum was provided by the state Education Department. These included lessons on “Intersectionality and Activism,” “Black Feminist Literary Theory,” and “Black Queer Studies.”
Who would assert that queer theory is a significant aspect of Black history? DeSantis remarked this week during a press conference. “That person is using our children to further an agenda,”
However, detractors of the governor claim that by refusing to permit the course to be taught in Florida, he is unfairly targeting Black history. The governor has emphasized banning what he terms “woke indoctrination” from companies and institutions as a central component of his agenda. The DeSantis administration has not examined other Advanced Placement courses, such as European history.
The “formal structure” of the course, which will replace the pilot program and take into account comments from high schools and colleges, will be unveiled on February 1, according to a news release from the College Board on Tuesday. There is no mention of input from public officials.
A representative for the College Board declined to comment when asked whether changes to the curriculum were being made in response to the DeSantis administration’s worries. According to the board, AP courses are created over the course of two to six years and then “frequently revised thereafter.”
The Florida Department of Education is “encouraged to see the College Board demonstrate a desire to amend,” according to Alex Lanfranconi, a spokesman for the agency. He further stated that after reviewing the updated curriculum, the state would reevaluate its approval of the class.
According to Lanfranconi, “We anticipate that content on Critical Race Theory, Black Queer Studies, Intersectionality, and other topics that violate our law will be removed after analyzing the College Board’s modifications.”
A voting rights advocacy group called Equal Ground staged a “Stop the Black Attack” protest in Tallahassee, where dozens of people attended. Several speakers charged DeSantis with attempting to further marginalize the Black community in the state when he was governor. DeSantis should focus on problems like “crumbling schools, outdated structures in our neighborhoods,” and exorbitant property insurance costs, according to state senator Shevrin Jones (D).
These are the issues that are being neglected, according to Jones, because we have to deal with the promotion of Jim Crow 3.0 by individuals who are unaware of and unconcerned with the issues affecting Black communities but who yet want to regulate how our history is taught.
Backlash Grows Against DeSantis Decision to Block AP African American Studies Class. DeSantis stated that he wants children to study Black history, which is required by law, but claimed that teachers were indoctrinating students with a “woke worldview.”
In order to create more educational opportunities around Black history, Black caucus leaders in the state legislature plan to collaborate with national civil rights organizations, the lawmakers said in a statement this week. This way, students “won’t have to wait on a state or governor to see the value in their history,” they added.
DeSantis is allegedly engaging in a political “witch hunt,” violating the right of Florida kids to education, and they are aware of it, according to state representative Michele Rayner (D).
They are aware that history is being erased, Rayner added. “2.8 million pupils are currently enrolled in Florida’s public schools, and they are aware that their governor opposes them learning about Black history.”