Nebraska educators speak on Florida’s rejection of African American studies class

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Nebraska educators are speaking out on a rejection of an African American studies class in Florida.

Last week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration barred a class on African American studies from being taught in high schools.

The state education department said the class violates state law and is historically inaccurate, the Associated Press reported.

UNO Black Studies Adjunct Professor Karen Johns said prohibiting similar classes would “doom our educational system.”

“This is one of the most racist moves in terms of academia, period,” she said. “There’s no reason why that class should be removed.”

The College Board, which oversees advanced placement classes, said that all new courses go through a “rigorous, multi-year pilot phase,” according to AP.

“When you look to see they have stuff about intersectionality, abolishing prisons, that’s a political agenda,” DeSantis said.  “We believe in teaching kids facts and how to think, but we don’t believe they should have an agenda imposed on them.”

African American Culture Expert Preston Love, Jr. said DeSantis’ decision was a setback for the progression of education.

“What is it about African American education that makes people nervous,” he said. “The answer, I don’t want to say, but it surely is not intelligent.”

Lincoln Education Association President Deb Rasmussen said Lincoln Public Schools doesn’t currently offer African American studies.

But the course is expected to be added to Lincoln High, Northeast, and Northwest curriculum in 2024.

“I am hopeful that the legislature and the Governor will let school districts do the job of making sure that curriculum and class offerings meet students’ needs,” Rasmussen said in a statement.

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