Ben Crump Threatens to Sue Florida Gov. DeSantis Over AP African American Studies Ban

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump is photographed at a speaking engagement.Civil rights attorney Ben Crump is photographed at a speaking engagement.
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump is photographed at a speaking engagement.Getty

The prominent civil rights attorney spoke to a crowd during the "Stop the Black Attack" rally at the Florida Capitol building.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is facing backlash over his decision to bar an African American studies class from public schools in Florida, including from civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who has threatened to sue the state and the governor if the Advanced Placement course is not allowed to be taught.

“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,” Crump told the crowd at the “Stop the Black Attack” rally in the Florida Capitol building located in Tallahassee.

Amid chants of “Black history is American history,” Crump announced that he and attorney Craig Whisenhunt will be representing three AP honors high school students in their potential legal action.

“Everybody who is here in America, you have a right to have your culture, your history respected and taught to the children,” Crump said at the rally. “The question really is this, brothers and sisters: Are we going to let Governor DeSantis, or anybody, exterminate Black history from the classrooms in Florida?”

The rally came days after the DeSantis administration announced their rejection over the College Board’s new AP course, with the Florida Department of Education calling the course “inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value."

Since the announcement of the rejection, DeSantis has defended his decision, saying during a news conference that the course is being used “for political purposes."

Addressing the rejection of the course, Florida Sen. Manny Diaz Jr. said on Twitter the curriculum violates state law. The State recently passed the “Stop WOKE Act,” the acronym standing for "Wrong to our Kids and Employees.” Diaz, who is the Florida State Board of Education's commissioner of education, also called the course “woke indoctrination masquerading as education."

He also shared a Florida Department of Education infographic labeled "Concerns Found Within College Board's Submitted AP African American Studies Course," which included “Black feminist literary thought," "Black queer studies" and "The Reparations Movement."

"All points and resources in this study advocate for reparations. There is no critical perspective or balancing opinion in this lesson," reads the point under the "concern" column. 

The College Board responded Tuesday, stating that it would release the official framework of the course’s curriculum on Feb. 1. The course is in a multi-year pilot phase and is currently being taught at 60 schools across the country.

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