Legal Action Against Ron DeSantis For Racist Censorship In Schools Promised By Lawyer


Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis, who it seems thinks he was appointed the arbiter of what Floridians in public schools and even some workplace environments hear, read, and even think, could face what attorney Benjamin Crump said would be a “historic” lawsuit unless the state moves forward with an Advanced Placement (AP) course on Black history.

The course would be offered to high school students, and Florida authorities rejected the prospect of presenting it in the state, with DeSantis citing specific complaints including discussions of “queer theory.” “Who would say that an important part of Black history is queer theory?” DeSantis recently posited. Does he think Black people who are queer only first emerged in this generation? Well, he already has a separate record of suppressing discussions of gender identity and sexual orientation in classrooms. As for the restrictions on teaching Black history, Crump spoke alongside three students in AP honors classes in Florida who he said would be plaintiffs in the lawsuit he was prepared to file, depending on how the current situation progressed.

“We’re here to give notice to Gov. DeSantis that if he does not negotiate with the College Board to allow AP African American studies to be taught in the classrooms across the state of Florida that these three young people will be the lead plaintiffs in a historic lawsuit,” Crump said in the Florida capital, according to a recent NBC report.

The College Board, which is the organization responsible for AP courses, has indicated what it called an “official framework” for the course is forthcoming, suggesting there could be revisions. NBC reported elsewhere last week that a spokesperson for the College Board “did not respond to questions about whether the change was a direct result of Florida’s rejection of the course.” A spokesperson for the Florida Department of Education spoke in predictably glowing terms about the organization’s actions, as though a victory had been achieved, although it’s not even clear what will be in the forthcoming outline for the course. Will any changes even be enough to satisfy the governor’s team? Time will tell.

As reported in Axios, Crump — who’s involved in the matter alongside attorney Craig Whisenhunt — indicated he was willing to go all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court with the dispute and characterized the state’s approach as a rejection of “the free flow of ideas.” DeSantis has already specifically targeted Black residents in Florida before this controversy with a Congressional redistricting plan that he pushed through that substantially reshaped an area that until the beginning of January was represented by then-Rep. Al Lawson (D), who is Black. DeSantis’s team argued in court disputes against the very foundation of the concept of affirmative action, like the kind of policy decisions that might underlie drawing a district to provide otherwise marginalized residents with representation in the legislature.