Bobby Powell says blocked AP class may violate state law
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 1/4/23-Sen. Bobby Powell, D-West Palm Beach, during the Senate Select Committee on Resiliency, Wednesday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

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“It puts our Governor’s racial bias on full display.”

A Democratic Senator from Palm Beach County is speaking out against the Governor’s decision to spike an Advanced Placement class.

Sen. Bobby Powell is warning that the decision to disallow an AP course in African American studies, rendered by the executive branch this week, could violate state law.

“This ban is not only discriminatory but flies in the face of long-standing Florida law,” Powell contends.

“Almost 30 years ago, Florida lawmakers passed a law that requires public school students to be taught the history of African Americans, including slavery, abolition, and the contributions of Blacks to society. Banning this advanced placement course that incorporates these very issues not only whitewashes history but tramples a lauded state law that guided our state into the 21st century. It puts our Governor’s racial bias on full display,” Powell added.

The Senator takes issue with the assertion that the course, which is being offered on a pilot basis by the College Board, is “inexplicably contrary” to Florida law. He also notes that the latest seeming assault on African American history and narrative comes after the controversial Stop W.O.K.E. Act (HB 7).

That legislation rejects concepts like White Privilege or historical oppression, asserting instead a race-neutral contextualization that, per Powell, avoids “subjecting any student or employee to training or instruction that espouses, promotes, advances, inculcates, or compels such individuals to believe specified concepts constitutes discrimination based on race, color, sex, or national origin.”

“In his drive to squash basic freedom of thought and speech in Florida, the Governor has twisted a course designed to enrich our understanding of American history, and celebrate pioneering African American accomplishments, into a tool for propaganda and political ambitions,” Powell contends.

Though this action is tailored toward the state of Florida, DeSantis opted to float the ban nationally.  The conservative and arguably pro-DeSantis National Review Wednesday first reported that a pilot version of the AP African American Studies would not be offered, though the leak suggested a course “with lawful, historically accurate content” would be acceptable.

Late Friday, Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr.tweeted a chart detailing six areas of concern in the AP course. In the part of the course that addresses compensating descendants of slavery, for example, the area of concern is that “all points and resources in this study advocate for reparations. There is no critical perspective or balancing opinion in his lesson.”

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Florida Politics’ Anne Geggis contributed reporting.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


5 comments

  • Paulette Walsh

    January 21, 2023 at 9:25 pm

    I would love to know how many law suits are pending for DeSantis and the cost to taxpayers. This man is trying to change a culture by government rule. It is not the job of government to change a culture.

  • CRAIG

    January 21, 2023 at 9:31 pm

    EXCELLENT WRITING AND AS TO ADDRESS ALL THREE ISSUES: FIRST OF ALL WHEN IT COMES TO KAMALA HARRIS I WILL NOT EVEN RESPOND OR DIGNIFY ANYTHING SHE SAYS AND SHE IS A VERY EXTREMELY UNEDUCATED WOMAN AND IS EXTREMELY RACIST– AS FAR AS THE IDIOTS THAT WANT THE AWOKE AGENDA THEY R JUST IN IT FOR THE MONEY AND EVERYONE IN WOKE OR THAT PUSHES THE WOKE AGENDA AND IDEALS ARE VERY UNEDUCATED AND VERY SICK INDIVIDUALS AND AS FAR AS SLEEPY JOE HE IS A UNEDUCATED NOBODY JUST LIKE HIS SON AND BOTH EXTREME UNEDUCATED COWARDS.

    • Evan Douglas

      January 22, 2023 at 1:51 am

      CRAIG, your sophisticated comment has the hallmark of the unsophisticated, sounds like you received your degree in creative writing from Trump University–where the uneducated go to become more uneducated. Frankly, your comment is pure Neanderthal thought, littered with tired MAGA talking points. Please think before you comment on complex topics…oh, that’s right, you can’t !!!

    • Noni Maclaren

      January 22, 2023 at 4:57 am

      Respectfully, after reading your comment, submitted in all caps, several misspellings and atrocious punctuation errors, I don’t quite understand what makes you believe she’s uneducated. Which thing about her made you hate her? The fact that she’s a Democrat? Is it because she’s a woman? Is it because she’s black? I respect everyone’s right to an opinion, but I have noticed quite often that people who hate others simply because they have a different opinion don’t actually educate themselves on facts. Critical thinking has been sadly lost over the years. Please, do yourself a favor and educate yourself in facts rather than parroting opinions you get from talking heads.

      • Fantasy Girl

        January 22, 2023 at 7:30 am

        I agree whole heartedly that the education level of that individual is very low and facts speaks for itself when a person types a conversation in all caps tells you a lot. Going forward this Governor needs to vacate our Governor house he’s making a mockery out of the whole purpose. He stepped into that house not intending to govern the whole state of Florida he’s been catering to only the wealthy folks since day one. He’s such a clown and the one that don’t even make me laugh. I know this man don’t have the right or authority to do a lot of these things he’s doing and why do people have to sue him to try and make it right. If anything this man needs to be impeached.

Comments are closed.


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