Ben Crump threatens to sue DeSantis for rejected course on African American studies

BEN CRUMP and students band together to protest the rejection of African American studies course at conference. Octavio Jones/Reuters

Sienna Miller | Writer

January 27, 2023

Ron DeSantis,  governor of Florida, is in the process of denying an AP African American History course that takes a deep dive into understanding slavery, abolitionism, and even how African Americans have struggled in the aftermath of slavery. Topics that may be discussed include feminism, black power, the civil rights movement, and more “controversial” subjects.

Attorney Ben Crump is backing up protesting students, threatening to sue DeSantis in a press conference on account of rejecting an important educational course. Who gets to decide what is right to teach? Should Americans in power be able to not offer certain courses that they don’t agree with? 

DeSantis claims that he has the authority to ban the subject because in the year prior, he banned the teaching of critical race theory. He and many conservatives believe that teaching the horrors of our country’s past will just make white people feel guilty for something they didn’t partake in. State officials formally claim that the course is “inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value”. 

CRUMP AT the “Stop Black Attack” rally. Brandon Bell/Getty Images

However, Crump and the plaintiffs argue that taking away people’s right to education on certain subject matters is a form of censorship that results in a corrupt society. They insist that education in all matters, especially the tragic ones, only benefits students to have a better perception of how the world works and why these issues still arise in our world today. Discrimination didn’t just cease to exist after slavery, and many believe that this course is a way to acknowledge that fact. 

“I think a lot of our high school education is flawed even in California,” says sophomore Elora Aguliar. “I think it’s crazy that we don’t talk about what actually happened and is still happening after slavery and how and how racism is still  embedded into our society today. The most dangerous concept to me are those who think racism is dead” 

Soon after the conference where Crump announced that he was going to sue the governor’s administration, he posted “students must be allowed to learn!” on his Instagram page. He and many others are finally banning together in hopes to stop producing ignorant and ill-educated people who nevertheless went through the school system.  

“I think all schools need this course as at least an option,” says Senior Luka Horspool. “I think it would be the right thing to sue if the governor still refuses the class. Students should always have the opportunity to learn, especially when it comes to history.” 

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