Backlash mounts against DeSantis decision to bar AP African American Studies class

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis faces a mounting backlash over his administration’s decision to ban an advanced placement high school course on African American studies, with black leaders rallying in the capital, a prominent civil rights attorney threatening to sue and state lawmakers urging him to withdraw. Conclusion

Attorney Ben Crump accused DeSantis of violating the federal and state constitutions on Wednesday. His legal team noted that a A federal judge found A 2010 Arizona law banning a Mexican American studies program in Tucson schools was unconstitutional and officials said was “racially motivated.”

The state Department of Education argues that the class is “contrary to Florida law.” A new education law proposed by DeSantis requires that subjects on race be taught “in an objective context” and “not used to teach or persuade students to a particular point of view.” Some education advocates and teachers say the statute is too broadly construed Has a cooling effect In Teaching Black History.

“If he hadn’t negotiated with the College Board to teach AP African American Studies in classrooms across the state of Florida, these three young men would be the lead plaintiffs in a historic lawsuit,” Crump said before introducing the students.

Crump has been involved in several high-profile civil rights cases involving black Americans and vowed that DeSantis would “not destroy our culture.”

The latest controversy over Florida education policy began this month when the state Department of Education said the state Department of Education would not approve a pilot Advanced Placement course on black history because it violated state law and “Education has no value.”

The state Department of Education lists “concerns” in the curriculum, including “Intersectionality and Activism,” “Black Feminist Literary Theory,” and “Black Queer Studies.”

“Who would say that queer theory is an important part of black history now?” DeSantis said at a news conference this week. “It’s somebody pushing an agenda on our kids.”

But critics of the governor, who has made what he calls “wage education” from schools and businesses a key part of his platform, say he is unfairly targeting black history by not allowing the subject to be taught in Florida. Other Advanced Placement classes, such as European history, were not examined by the DeSantis administration.

The College Board said in a news release Tuesday that an “official framework” for the course would be released on Feb. 1, replacing the pilot program with feedback from high schools and colleges. It does not mention the inputs of public authorities.

College Board spokesperson DeSantis declined to comment on whether the curriculum is being modified in light of the administration’s concerns. According to the group, AP classes take two to six years to develop, and “are subject to constant review thereafter.”

Florida Department of Education spokesman Alex Lanfranconi said in a statement that “the administration is encouraged to see the College Board express a willingness to amend.” He added that the government will reconsider the recognition of the class after studying the new syllabus.

“We look forward to the College Board’s review of the changes and the removal of content on critical race theory, black queer studies, intersectionality, and other topics that violate our statute,” Lanfranconi said.

Meanwhile, dozens gathered at a “Stop the Black Attack” rally in Tallahassee, organized by Equal Ground, a voting rights advocacy group. Many speakers accused DeSantis of trying to further marginalize the state’s black community during his tenure. State Senate. Shevrin Jones (D) said DeSantis needs to address problems like “crumbling schools, dilapidated buildings in our communities” and high property insurance costs.

“These are ignored because we have to deal with the promotion of Jim Crow 3.0 by people who don’t know and don’t care about what’s going on in black communities, but they want to judge how you teach our history,” Jones said.

DeSantis said students should learn black history — and by law, they’re required to — but accused Teachers who teach students to believe in “woke ideology”.

Leaders of the state legislature’s Black Caucus plan to work with national civil rights organizations to put together more educational opportunities around black history. said in a statement this week.

State Rep. Michael Reiner (D) said DeSantis is on a political “witch hunt” and is infringing on Florida students’ freedom to learn — which students know about.

“They know that erasing history is not a secret,” Reiner said. “There are 2.8 million students sitting in Florida public schools right now knowing their governor doesn’t want them to learn about black history.”

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