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Florida rejects AP African American Studies course

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Monday that the state has rejected an Advanced Placement African American Studies course.

The College Board proposal to the state would have brought a college level course on African American Studies into high schools.

The decision to keep the Advanced Placement course out of Florida schools caught the attention of the public and raised questions about what the course is and what it is not.

David Canton is the Director of African American Studies at the University of Florida.

“They teach about African American life, history and culture from an African American perspective," Canton said.

In a press conference on Monday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said that the course was inserting a political agenda on kids that take the course.

“That's the wrong side of the line for Florida standards,” DeSantis said, “We believe in teaching kids facts and how to think but we don't believe they should have an agenda imposed on them."

Canton said that isn’t the case.

“They think the course is designed to make students into left wing radicals or activists,” he said, “It indoctrinates students to see the world a particular way and do something about it.”

He said the course is meant to show students the individuals, organizations and individuals involved and allow students to decide what to do with the information.

The rejection of the course comes after the DeSantis administration passed a series of laws to restrict how race and gender are discussed in classrooms.

Laws like the one he called "Stop W.O.K.E." that removed Critical Race Theory from being brought up in school.

“When I heard it didn't meet the standards, I figured they may be doing CRT,” DeSantis said, “It's way more than that. this course on black history, what's one of the lessons about? Queer Theory. Now, who would say that the important part of Black history is queer theory. That is somebody pushing an agenda on our kids.”

Canton said that the LGBTQ community has always been a part of the African American community.

“What they're saying is study those in black history, but don't study their sexual orientation. somehow separate that,” he said.

Canton said that when the College Board and the FDOE meet again, he hopes there will be open conversation about what the course is at its core.

College Board will be reworking the framework of the course and meeting with state officials in about a month.

Camila is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.
Christopher is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.