Students expressed frustration after their African American history course was abruptly canceled halfway through the school year by an order from the Florida Department of Education.
State officials in the Ron DeSantis administration rejected the Advanced Placement course earlier this month, leaving students and school scrambling to fill their schedule -- and leaving them feeling hurt and confused by the move, which education commissioner justified as pushback against "woke indoctrination," reported the Miami Herald.
“It sucks,” said 17-year-old Chyna Lee Hunter. “If this is a change they’re going to make [and] take away from me learning simple history, what else can they take away from my education? We won’t know the full story. Everyone is always going to feel uncomfortable and misplaced.”
Hunter and other students have written to DeSantis to complain, but the The College Board is expected to move forward and release its updated version of the AP course Wednesday, on the first day of Black History Month, following threats from Florida education officials.
“We don’t get a lot of chances to look into how African history plays into this country [and] we talked about serious topics that are hard to talk about,” said 18-year-old senior Cyara Pestaina. “It was shocking to hear we’d stop midway through the year and be degraded to a class we didn’t choose.”
Students who were taking the class appreciated its lessons on art and the influence of various cultural backgrounds on American life, and disputed DeSantis administration claims about anti-white lessons.
“The class didn’t make me feel a different way or change how I see different cultures or white people,” said senior Jaden Walter. “It just made me feel that African Americans also had an impact. It doesn’t have to bring their side down. It just brings our side up, too.”