Attorney Benjmain Crump (259817)
Attorney Ben Crump Credit: Facebook

Spurred by a decision by Gov. Ron DeSantis to block a new Advanced Placement (AP) course about African American studies from being taught in Florida high schools, noted civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump announced his plans to sue the governor.

Crump was joined at a press conference in Tallahassee on Wednesday by several Florida state legislators, including House Minority Leader Fentrice Driskell and Fedrick Ingram, secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).    

Also joining Crump at the press conference were three AP honors high school students. He said these students will be the lead plaintiffs in the lawsuit if DeSantis “does not negotiate with the College Board to allow AP African American studies to be taught in classrooms across the state.”

Earlier, in anticipation of Crump’s press conference, Gov. DeSantis said the state wants “education, not indoctrination.”

RELATED: Florida blocks high school African American studies class

“In the state of Florida,” he said, “our education standards not only don’t prevent but they require teaching Black history, all the important things. That’s part of our core curriculum…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 going to decline. If it’s education, then we will do.”

The state’s education officials did not specify exactly what content was found objectionable, saying, “As presented, the content of this course is inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value.” Among a half-dozen areas of concern noted by the state were works by Angela Davis; Gloria Jean Watkins, who was better known as bell hooks, and who died in 2021; and Kimberle W. Crenshaw, famous for discussion of critical race theory.  

DeSantis and Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. argued that the course is a Trojan horse for “indoctrinating” students with a left-wing ideology under the guise of teaching about the Black experience and African American history, which is mandated in the state. 

On Tuesday, the College Board said it would release a new framework for the AP course, which they said has been under development since last March.Crump is also representing the family of Tyre Nicols, who was fatally beaten by police officers in Memphis.

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