DeSantis Bans African American Studies Class from Florida High Schools

Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has made his latest controversial action to stop conversations about race and gender in schools in his state. 

This time, DeSantis rejected a new advanced placement course in African American studies from being taught in high schools. 

DeSantis said the AP class violated state law and “lacks educational value.” 

This move is the latest in a series of actions DeSantis has taken to keep conversations and lessons about race, sexuality and gender identity off the state’s school campuses.

DeSantis banned the course in a letter from his state education department to the College Board, which is the nonprofit organization that oversees AP coursework. 

The Florida Department of Education’s Office of Articulation’s letter said the course is “inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value.”

The letter also said the course was historically inaccurate and somehow not lawful. It in no means elaborated on what exactly was objectionable in the course content. 

In the summer of 2022, the College Board announced a pilot program to “offer high school students an evidence-based introduction to African American studies” would be launching in 60 high schools across the country during the 2022-23 school year and will be set to expand to other campuses the following year.

DeSantis is a former ally to former-president Donald Trump, and is making moves to be his former mentor’s new competition. 

DeSantis plays an active role in stoking social and political anxieties, primarily among white Americans, that stem from conversations about race and gender that occur on K-12 public school campuses. 

The Florida governor has taken intolerant approaches to conversations around race, as well as LGBTQ+ people and topics. 

In March 2022 he signed a highly controversial piece of legislation dubbed the “don’t say gay” bill, which forbids instruction on sexual orientation and gender identification in schools.

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