Three Florida high school students are threatening to sue Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state of Florida over a recently announced statewide ban on a new Advanced Placement course on African-American history.
The threatened lawsuit was announced Wednesday on behalf of AP honors students who accuse the state and its Republican governor of censoring public education by heavily favoring white history over black.
“Of course, there are other Advanced Placement stories like AP European History, AP US History, and AP World History, which are all predominantly white-generated,” Victoria McQueen, one of the potential plaintiffs, told a news conference with civilians. human rights lawyer Ben Crump, who would represent them.
“If they don’t negotiate with the College Board to allow African American studies to be taught in classrooms in the state of Florida, these three young men will be the lead plaintiffs in a landmark lawsuit,” Crump said of DeSantis.
The African American Studies pilot program was banned in Florida by DeSantis’ so-called Stop WOKE Act, which he signed last year. The legislation places restrictions on how racism and other aspects of history can be taught in schools and the workplace. It includes banning the teaching of “critical race theory,” a university-wide framework of study that argues that racism is embedded in legal systems and government policies.
The Florida Department of Education (DOE) said a number of topics, including critical race theory, black career studies and intersectionality, must be dropped for the course to be taught in state schools.
“As Governor DeSantis said, African-American history is American history, and we will not allow any organization to use an academic course as a gateway to indoctrination and a political agenda,” the director of the US Department of Communications said Wednesday. Florida Education, Alex Lanfranconi. , in a statement.
The College Board announced Tuesday that it will unveil its official framework for the course on Feb. 1 after considering feedback from high schools and colleges that have already participated in the national pilot program.
“This framework, under development since March 2022, replaces the preliminary framework of the pilot course under discussion to date,” the nonprofit said, without sharing details on how the official course might differ from the pilot.
The Florida DOE, in a letter to the college last week, said the AP course includes historically inaccurate content and “significantly lacks educational value.” He suggested changing course for any future revisions.
The pilot course is “indoctrination, not education,” DeSantis said Monday at a news conference.
“Who would say that an important part of black history is queer theory?” he said. “This is the wrong side of the line by Florida standards. When you try to use black history as a shoe-in for queer theory, you’re clearly trying to use it for political purposes.”