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Days after Republican Florida Governor Ron Desantis announced a ban on teaching AP African American studies, national civil rights attorney Ben Crump announced plans to sue his administration.
Crump’s office announced plans to hold a press conference Wednesday afternoon in Tallahassee to discuss the lawsuit, NBC reported. Joining him, three AP honors high school students who are plaintiffs in the lawsuit are expected to speak as well.
In a Jan. 12 letter to the College Board, which oversees advanced placement curriculums across the country, Desantis’ administration rejected the proposed courses for Florida students, saying it is “inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value.”
Pointing to pieces of the proposed curriculum that covers prison abolition Angela Davis, Black feminist bell hooks, and Black Queer Theory, Desantis blasted the courses as an attempt to introduce “left-wing indoctrination” into schools.
Outrage as Florida Governor rejects AP African American studies
Black Democratic Florida state Senator Shevrin Jones blasted the racist decision by pointing to the other ethnic courses being taught in Florida schools.
“AP European History – AP Art History – AP Japanese Language & Culture – AP German Language & Culture – AP Italian Language & Culture – AP Spanish Language & Culture are AP classes currently offered. It’s crazy how AP African-American studies made the chopping block in FL,” Jones tweeted last week.
While traditional African American History is mandated in Florida public schools, Desantis’ rejection of the first ever AP courses for Black History has caused outrage across the nation. Ben Crump faces yet another high profile challenge to gain justice for Black Americans.
“This political extremism and its attack of Black History and Black people, is going to create an entire generation of Black children who won’t be able to see themselves reflected at all within their own education or in their own state,” Florida state Sen. Jones said.
Ben Crump to sue Ron Desantis administration
Following the rejection, the College Board announced it was revising the course for an official framework release on Feb. 1, after taking in feedback from the 60 schools around the nation taking part in a pilot version.
Desantis’ Education Department lauded the revision as a win for his administration.
“We are glad the College Board has recognized that the originally submitted course curriculum is problematic, and we are encouraged to see the College Board express a willingness to amend,” Alex Lanfranconi, a spokesperson for the agency, said in a statement. “AP courses are standardized nationwide, and as a result of Florida’s strong stance against identity politics and indoctrination, students across the country will consequentially have access to an historically accurate, unbiased course.”
Meanwhile, Ben Crump is also expected to be joined at Wednesday’s press conference by several Florida state legislators, including House Minority Leader Fentrice Driskell as well as Fedrick Ingram, secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of Teachers, NBC confirmed.
As Desantis prepares for an expected 2024 presidential run, it’s unclear how far he’s willing to go to ignore accurate Black history in exchange for conservative political points.