The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is considering filing a lawsuit over Florida banning a high school AP African American Studies class that contained sections on Critical Race Theory and Queer Theory.
The course was banned after a review found that it violated the state law prohibiting CRT from being taught in K-12 classrooms.
According to local news station WESH, the NAACP held a press conference about the ban on Saturday morning.
Right now: Statewide NAACP leaders are joining state lawmakers at a press conference calling on an AP African American studies course to be approved by the state and offered as a choice for students statewide. Watch LIVE now at @news6wkmg pic.twitter.com/4ZcwncHyOC
— Jerry Askin (@JerryAskinNews6) January 28, 2023
“Our intent is to litigate vigorously on the grounds of equal protection,” Roger Jackson of the NAACP said in the opening message.
Civil Rights Attorney Ben Crump has already threatened the state with a lawsuit.
NAACP leaders are now speaking and condemning Gov. DeSantis’ decision to reject a proposed AP African American Studies course.”We urge the Florida DOE and College Board to act swiftly to undo the damage that has already been done,” – Florida State Conference President Adora Nweze pic.twitter.com/HQM94OSsE5
— Sabrina Maggiore (@SabrinaWFTV) January 28, 2023
“My own culture of history, which is a part of American history, is being removed,” said Colin Mitchell, president of the Florida State Conference NAACP Youth and College Division.
“We will not allow public officials to rip our part of American history out of textbooks, out of the classroom and out of the mouths of teachers,” Leon Russell, chairman of the NAACP board, said.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis explained the reason for the ban during a press conference last week.
WATCH: DeSantis explains rejection of African American Studies course
“It’s not fair to say that somehow abolishing prisons is somehow linked to black experience […] I think they want law and order […] I view it as American history, I don’t view it as black history.” pic.twitter.com/RQuRwBNv20
— Florida’s Voice (@FLVoiceNews) January 23, 2023
“They’re advocating things like abolishing prisons. Now that’s a radical political position,” DeSantis told reporters. “You’re free to take that in your own life, I don’t think very many people think that would actually work, but how is that being taught as fact?”
“It’s not fair to say that somehow abolishing prisons is linked to black experiences, that that’s what black people want,” the governor continued.”I think they want law and order, just like anybody else wants law and order. So that is more ideology being used under the guise of history, and we want to do history.”
DeSantis’ office said they are ensuring Florida schools “utilize accurate, historical curriculum.”
“That’s what our standards for black history are: it’s just cut-and-dry history. You learn all the basics, you learn about the great figures,” DeSantis said. “I view it as American history. I don’t view it as separate history.”
DeSantis’ office previously explained that classrooms in the state are places for “education, not indoctrination.”
“The Florida Department of Education has rejected the College Board’s AP African American Studies course because it lacks educational value and historical accuracy,” Bryan Griffin, DeSantis’ press secretary, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “As submitted, the course is a vehicle for a political agenda and leaves large, ambiguous gaps that can be filled with additional ideological material, which we will not allow. As Governor DeSantis has stated, our classrooms will be a place for education, not indoctrination.”
The Daily Caller obtained the course syllabus and reported, “Unit 4 includes a section titled ‘African American Studies: Movements and Methods,’ under which is a lesson on ‘Black Queer Studies.’ The section teaches students about ‘the concept of the queer of color critique, grounded in Black feminism and intersectionality, as a Black studies lens that shifts sexuality studies toward racial analysis,’ according to the syllabus.”