*Governor Ron DeSantis is against the Advance Placement African American course in Florida high schools. His administration, through Florida’s Department of Education Office of Articulation, rejected the course. But civil rights attorney Ben Crump is not taking it lying low.
Crump held a news conference at the Florida Capitol, flanked by leaders from the American Federation of Teachers and Florida politicians. He was also joined by three AP honors students who will serve as the lead plaintiffs in the complaint.
“The question really is this, brothers and sisters. Are we going to let Gov. DeSantis, or anybody, exterminate Black history from the classrooms in Florida?” Crump asked the crowd at the event.
“Black History is American History!” the crowd shouted back.
“We are here to give notice to Governor DeSantis that if he does not negotiate with the College Board to allow AP African-American studies to be taught in the classrooms across the state of Florida, that these three young people will be the lead plaintiffs in a historic lawsuit,” Crump added.
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One of the students at the event explained how there is a lack of courses that study Black history in the Florida public school system.
“I realized that I have not learned much about the history or culture of my people outside of my parents and close relatives,” said the student.
State Senator Shevrin Jones totally disagrees with the governor on this matter. Jones points out that the governor’s decision to reject the course exemplifies how racism still thrives in America. For Jones, the fight is not just about this AP course but also against the strong uprising of racism from people who are seeing the shifting of America.
“While the full and accurate historical record might make some uncomfortable—good!” Jones added.
On January 12, Florida’s Department of Education Office of Articulation sent a letter to the College Board. The letter explained why the department blocked the course, one reason being that the course is against the state’s “Stop Woke Act.”
“In its current form, the College Board’s AP African American Studies course lacks educational value and is contrary to Florida law,” the letter partly stated. “In the future, should the College Board be willing to come back to the table with lawful, historically accurate content, FDOE will always be willing to reopen the discussion.”
However, the letter didn’t specify what part of the African American studies course was unlawful.
It is this letter that triggered the fallout that has seen planning a lawsuit against the governor.
The College Board responded to the letter but in a statement.
“Like all new AP courses, AP African American Studies is undergoing a rigorous, multi-year pilot phase, collecting feedback from teachers, students, scholars, and policymakers,” the statement pointed out. “We look forward to bringing this rich and inspiring exploration of African-American history and culture to students across the country.”
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