PantherNOW Editorial Board
Politicians in Tallahassee continue to outdo themselves to make Florida even more of a national laughingstock than it is now. This time, they banned content from the AP Psychology class from high schools across the state.
AP Psychology, one of the most popular AP classes nationwide, features a segment where it teaches students sexual orientation and gender identity. These concepts are crucial to understanding the human mind and psyche.
It clashes with Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” expanded law, which censors discussion of sexual orientation and gender in the classroom.
The College Board, the organization responsible for creating the AP curriculum, released a statement saying they stand firm on not modifying the class to fit the law’s ideals, which means the course is effectively banned from Florida.
These lawmakers and politicians haven’t set foot in a public high school for decades. And yet, they continue to assault the futures of the minds they want to “protect” and attack high schoolers’ academic freedom by directly changing the curriculum in another blatant.
AP Psychology gave many of them their first taste of a college-level class that encouraged critical thinking to the utmost degree. It gave students a fascinatingly in-depth education on a wide range of topics, from the anatomy of the human brain to modern-day ethics in experiments.
Banning a 30-year-old class full of scientifically-backed information because a single part of it briefly teaches something you don’t like is idiotic.
But this is where the hypocrisy kicks in.
DeSantis’ claim to worry about indoctrination in the classroom flies out the window when PragerU, a far-right political organization, had its curriculum approved for use by Florida teachers.
Some topics taught by PragerU include climate change denialism and the benefits of slavery. Other videos claim no wage gap between men and women and praise Robert E. Lee, a famous Confederate general, for crushing a slave rebellion.
These videos taught to elementary school students are fine, but an optional class for high school students is not.
Let’s be brutally honest here. DeSantis’ problem isn’t the presence of indoctrination in the classroom, which is an idea that is already heavily misguided. It’s the fact that it isn’t his flavor of indoctrination.
There is nothing wrong with presenting opposing viewpoints in the classroom. No one is saying that. If students don’t want to discuss such topics, or parents don’t feel comfortable letting their children do so, there is no obligation to take AP classes.
However, Florida doesn’t get to dictate the curriculum’s content developed by a national and credited organization. It’s college-level material, not Build-A-Bear.
We can’t have our cake and eat it. Nobody is forcing anybody to take these classes – students who didn’t want to enroll simply didn’t. Students who want to, though, no longer have the option.
Florida is far past just taking a few steps back. The state is tumbling down the stairs and hitting its head on every corner.
The state’s actions demonstrate a cancerous trend that rejects education that challenges its archaic beliefs. Florida is already suffering from a brain drain caused by these idiocies. Unfortunately, Florida shows no intention to revert its actions.
The battle against wokeism and its brainchildren is a disease, not a cure. It’s taking over the radical right as they move toward creating a new one. This new right finds no discomfort in stuffing itself with cultural war content. By doing so, it legitimizes what was once the fringes of society.
We are deeply concerned with the direction our education is heading in and fear what ramifications this decision may have on the future.