The Phoenix Flyer

Lawsuit expected against Gov. DeSantis on the rejection of AP African American studies pilot

By: - January 24, 2023 8:43 pm

Attorney Benjamin Crump (right), who represents the family of George Floyd, speaks to the media in front of the Fountain of Praise church where Floyd was laying at rest on June 8, 2020 in Houston, Texas. Floyd died May 25th in Minneapolis police custody, sparking nationwide protests. To the left: The Rev. Al Sharpton. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump — who has represented the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others — plans to announce a lawsuit against Gov. Ron DeSantis over the rejection of an Advanced Placement African American studies pilot course that has led to an outpouring of criticism from Black Democratic lawmakers, activists and organizations nationwide.

An advisory Tuesday evening stated this:

“Nationally renowned civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump and attorney Craig Whisenhunt will join students and elected officials to announce their intent to file a lawsuit against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the State of Florida for rejecting the Advanced Placement African American Studies course from being taught in Florida high schools.”

The history of African Americans is considered “required instruction” under Florida law. And AP classes, from the nonprofit College Board, allow high school students to earn credits for college classes.

The advisory also said that Crump will be joined by three AP honors high school students who will serve as the lead plaintiffs in the DeSantis lawsuit.

The event is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, at 12:15 p.m. Jan. 25, 2023, in the Capitol. Other attendees are scheduled to be there. They are:

State Sen. Shevrin Jones

Secretary-Treasurer Fedrick Ingram, American Federation of Teachers

State Sen. Geraldine Thompson

Florida House Minority Leader Fentrice Driskell

State Rep. Dianne Hart, the chair of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus

State Rep. Michele Rayner

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Diane Rado
Diane Rado

Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She spent most of her career at the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times and the Chicago Tribune. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and did a fellowship in education reform at the University of Michigan in 1999-2000. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.