DeSantis could face lawsuit for banning African American studies class
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump joins Florida students in announcing that they would sue the state and its Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, if African American Studies was not reinstated in the Advanced Placement curriculum.
Several Florida students have announced their intention to sue the state and Governor Ron DeSantis in response to the state's rejection of the Advanced Placement African American studies course in state schools.
"If he does not negotiate with the College Board to allow AP African American studies to be taught in classrooms across the state of Florida, these three young people will be the lead plaintiffs," civil rights attorney Ben Crump said at a Wednesday press conference.
Crump and attorney Craig Whisenhunt will represent three AP honors high school students in the lawsuit.
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One of the students involved in the legal action noted at the press conference the lack of education on the history or culture of people outside his environment, "my parents and close relatives."
Another student at the press conference argued that DeSantis doesn't have "the right to take this opportunity from thousands of students across the state."
"There are many gaps in American history regarding the African American population," a third student said. "The implementation of an AP African American History class could fill in those gaps."
What is the "Stop WOKE" Act?
DeSantis signed the "Stop WOKE" Act into law last year, restricting race-related conversations and instruction in workplaces, schools and colleges.
The law prohibits teaching or business practices that argue members of one ethnic group are inherently racist and should feel guilty for actions committed by others in the past. In November, a federal judge in Florida issued a temporary restraining order against the act's implementation in higher education, which is still being fought in court.
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The course is currently being piloted in a small number of high schools across the country, with plans to expand it to any high school that requests it in the 2024-2025 school year, according to the College Board. The official framework for the AP African American Studies course will be released on February 1 in time for Black History Month, replacing the preliminary pilot course framework.