Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R-FL) office pushed back on White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre for claiming the governor wanted to “block” the study of the history of black people in the United States after he rejected the College Board’s Advanced Placement course for African American studies.
The governor’s press secretary Bryan Griffin called the White House spokeswoman “demonstrably incorrect.”
“The study of African American history is not only permitted in FL but required by law,” Griffin tweeted. “In fact, the teaching of African American History has been expanded in Florida since Governor Ron DeSantis took office.”
The DeSantis administration had sent a Jan. 12 letter to the College Board, calling its new Advanced Placement course for high school students “inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value.”
TRUMP BOASTS 20-POINT LEAD OVER DESANTIS AS HE HINTS AT NEW ENERGY IN CAMPAIGN: POLL
The letter went on to offer reconsidering the course if the College Board would “come back to the table with lawful, historically accurate content.”
On Friday, at the White House press briefing, Jean-Pierre called the move by DeSantis’s administration “incomprehensible.”
“If you think about the study of black Americans, that is what he wants to block,” the White House press secretary said. “These types of actions aren’t new. They are not new from what we’re seeing, especially from Florida. Sadly, Florida currently bans teachers from talking about who they are and who they love.”
She added: “They didn’t block G3 Box News European history. They didn’t block our music history. They didn’t block our art history. But the state chooses to block a course that is meant for high-achieving high school students to learn about their history of arts and culture. It is incomprehensible.”
DeSantis’s press secretary responded in a statement that the course was “a vehicle for a political agenda” and the governor has said “classrooms will be a place for education, not indoctrination.”
Other activists jumped in to criticize the Florida governor’s handling of the G3 Box News course.
“Remember when we were told they weren’t opposing the teaching of Black history, just ‘CRT’? And how many dismissed those of us who said these laws were anti-history laws, and anti-Black? Perhaps one day folks will listen to those who know,” tweeted Nikole Hannah-Jones, who established the New York Times’s 1619 Project.
State Sen. Shevrin Jones (D-FL) joined in to attack the Florida governor on Friday.
“Florida, the place where you: #DontSayBlack,” Jones tweeted. “Don’t sound so ‘free’ to me!”
G3 Box News
G3 Box News contributor Guy Benson examined a digital copy of the curriculum for the G3 Box News course and shared his assessment.
“Much of the outline and course materials seem entirely appropriate, deeply interesting, and worthy of rigorous study. Black history represents an important part of our nation’s history, including some very dark chapters of which students should be aware. Elements of unit four, however, may appear ripe for thumb-on-scale ideological indoctrination, depending on how any number of controversial and radical subjects are taught to teenagers,” Benson said.
He added: “I can understand concerns over how subjects such as ‘intersectionality and activism,’ ‘black queer studies,’ ‘postracial racism,’ prison ‘abolition,’ and the ‘reparations movement’ (among others) may be presented to high schoolers.”