Mié. Feb 8th, 2023

WASHINGTON — Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump is expected to announce Wednesday that he intends to sue Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over his administration’s decision to block the teaching of a new Advanced Placement course on African American studies at high schools.

Crump will be joined by three AP honors high school students who will be the lead plaintiffs in the lawsuit, his office saying.

During the announcement, scheduled in Tallahassee for 12:15 p.m.

The DeSantis administration rejected AP’s African-American studies program in a letter this month to the College Board, which oversees AP classes.

Florida education officials did not specify exactly what content the state found objectionable, but said, «As presented, the content in this course is inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacking in educational value.»

The State indicated six areas of concern and works by Kimberlé W. Crenshaw; Gloria Jean Watkins, known by the pseudonym ella bell hooks her; Angela Davis; and other black authors. And at a news conference Monday, DeSantis and Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. argued that the course is a Trojan horse to «indoctrinate» students with a leftist ideology under the guise of teaching about the black experience and African American history (which is required in the state).

On Tuesday, The College Board said it would release a new framework for the AP course, which it said has been in development since March.

The Florida Department of Education said it welcomed the revisions, though they have not yet been published.

“We are pleased that the College Board has recognized that the originally submitted course syllabus is problematic, and we are encouraged to see the College Board express its willingness to modify it,” Alex Lanfranconi, a spokesman for the agency, said in a statement. “AP courses are standardized across the country, and as a result of Florida’s strong stance against identity politics and indoctrination, students across the country will have access to a historically accurate and unbiased course.”

Lanfranconi said he expected the removal of content on topics «that violate our laws,» including critical race theory, black queer studies, and intersectionality.

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