MIAMI (WSVN) - Members of the Miami-Dade County’s Black Affairs Advisory Board sent a letter to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis after his recent decision to block an advanced placement class in African American studies from being taught in Florida.
“Politics has no place in determining school curriculum,” said Pierre Rutledge, Miami-Dade Black Affairs Advisory Board chair. “If we rely on elected officials to tell our children what they can and cannot learn about, that is the epitome of political indoctrination.”
“I can’t call the governor racist. I don’t know him personally. I don’t know his heart,” said Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam, “but what I do know is that the policies that he brings forward, it always seems to attack Black people and people of color.”
And they’re not the only local Black leaders to speak out against the move.
In a message from the City of Miramar, Wednesday night, the city council unanimously approved a resolution denouncing DeSantis’ decision to reject the college board’s advanced placement African American studies course.
“The governor at any time can take actions that can come against our city,” said Messam, “but we want to show we are not afraid; we will stand up for our residents.”
The College Board has since released a revised curriculum to that course, a week after the pilot program class was pulled by the state.
“That’s the wrong side of the line for Florida standards,” DeSantis said.
The Governor cited concerns over certain topics.
“What’s one of the lessons about? Queer theory. Now, who would say an important part of Black history is queer theory?” he said.
The new course structure listing four units of focus that now do not include subjects surrounding queer studies, Black Lives Matter and reparations.
The board claimed the revisions were made before the governor’s criticism.
In a statement, College Board CEO David Coleman stated, “This course is an unflinching encounter with the facts and evidence of African American history and culture … Everyone is seen.”
“We are here as volunteers to assure that our history remains, Dade County history, state of Florida history and America’s history,” Rutledge said.
As part of the letter, the board’s chair said the organization is open to having a dialogue with the governor on issues facing Black Floridians.
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