AP African studies course ban was justified

Kassidy Taylor, Copy Editor

There is a big difference between teaching about Black history and indoctrinating students. The College Board released news of its most recent African American Studies course at the beginning of Black History Month. Based on the course’s curriculum, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis rightfully banned the course from being taught in the state and urged the College Board to make necessary changes to the curriculum. Some claim that by banning the course, DeSantis is trying to censor African American history. He is only denying the practice of unlawful indoctrination. The pilot of the course taught subjects such as intersectionality, the Black Lives Matter movement, Black feminism, Black queer
studies and Black freedom struggles. Florida deemed these topics unlawful due to the state’s Stop WOKE Act, which aims to regulate how schools address race and gender. “We proudly require the teaching of African American history,” Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr. posted on Twitter. “We do not accept woke indoctrination masquerading as education.” The College Board complied with these demands and either omitted or made optional the unlawful topics. These changes aligned with the requirements DeSantis gave for the course, so it seems the College Board and DeSantis agreed on the course curriculum after all. Even Trevor Packer, head of College Board’s Advanced
Placement program, said changes were made because the pilot course was weighed too heavily toward contemporary theorists and not enough on foundational history. The misconception is that Florida banned the course because it didn’t want African American history taught in its schools. That’s not the case. With Florida’s recent legislation, DeSantis aims to keep the education system uninfluenced by any agenda. His ban on AP African American Studies wasn’t done to diminish the importance of African American history but to prevent the pushing of any political agenda in Florida’s schools. He is trying to protect children from indoctrination, and I respect that. Though Florida did not approve the coursework as it was in its pilot form, the state agreed to allow the course if necessary changes were made. Now that the course curriculum no longer adheres to a specific political agenda, Florida should allow the course to be taught in its schools.