Civil rights attorney Ben Crump joined Florida students on Wednesday in announcing they would sue the state and its Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, if they don’t reinstate the African American studies course in the Advanced Placement curriculum.
There’s growing outrage at the Florida Education Department’s decision to block the course. The department last week told the College Board, the nonprofit group overseeing the AP program, that it is “contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value.”
Crump, who is representing the three AP honors high school students with attorney Craig Whisenhunt, said at a press briefing Wednesday that blocking the course violated the federal and state constitutions.
“If the governor allows the College Board to present AP African American studies in classrooms across the state of Florida, then we will feel no need to file this historic lawsuit,” Crump said.
“However, if he rejects the free flow of ideas and suppresses African American studies, then we’re prepared to take this controversy all the way to the United States Supreme Court.”
The Florida State Board of Education unanimously approved an amendment in 2021 banning critical race theory, which links racial discrimination to the nation’s foundations and legal system, in a move backed by DeSantis.