Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) administration is seeing bipartisan support after the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) rejected an AP (Advanced Placement) African American Studies course due to its woke content.
The FDOE made waves this month after announcing its rejecting of the course, which included a section on “Black Queer Studies,” “Black Power,” “Black Pride,” reparations, the “global influence of the Black Lives Matter” movement, and more. The syllabus stated that the Black Queer Studies section would explore “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.”
“As presented, the content of this course is inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value,” the initial letter read, explaining why the department was rejecting the course.
“The issue is we have guidelines and standards in Florida. We want education, not indoctrination. If you fall on the side of indoctrination, we’re gonna decline. If it’s education, then we will do,” the governor said, defending the department’s decision and noting that teaching black history is already required as part of the state’s core curriculum.
“What’s one of the lessons about? Queer theory. Who would say that an important part of black history is queer theory?” he asked. “That is somebody pushing an agenda on our kids.”
Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor, a Black Democrat, agreed with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. "I think it’s trash," Proctor said about the curriculum. https://t.co/aqzwVwenKC
— Mayor of DeSantisville (@dipak_rajhansa) February 1, 2023
The department’s decision is controversial to some but Democrat Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor, who happens to be black, agrees that the AP course is “trash.”
While he said there is “grave concern about the tone and the tenor of leadership’s voice from the highest spaces in our state being hostile to teaching of African American history,” he is against the course.
“Well frankly I’m against the College Board’s curriculum. I think it’s trash. It’s not African American history. It is ideology,” Proctor said, according to Fox News.
“I’ve taught African American history, I’ve structured syllabuses for African American history. I am African American history. And talking about ‘queer’ and ‘feminism’ and all of that for the struggle for freedom and equality and justice has not been no tension with queerness and feminist thought at all,” he added.
Following the department’s rejection, the College Board agreed to revise the course.
“We want to do history, and that’s what our standards for black history are,” DeSantis said during a press conference last week, defending the department’s decision. “It’s just cut and dried history. You learn all the basics. You learn about the great figures and you know, I view it as American history. I don’t view it as separate history.”
“You know, we have history a lot of different shapes and sizes, people that have participated to make the country great, people that have stood up when it wasn’t easy and they all deserve to be taught, but abolishing prisons being taught to high school kids as if that’s somehow a fact? No. That’s not appropriate,” he added.
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