PEN America: “Appalling” and “Dangerous” Move by Florida to Cut AP Psychology Course
Course Banned Due to State Ban on Classroom Discussion of Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(NEW YORK)— The College Board announced today that Florida had “effectively banned” their AP Psychology class from being taught in the state after the state Board of Education found it to be in violation of HB 1557, a law that prohibits the discussion of gender identity or sexual orientation in public K-12 schools. According to the College Board and the American Psychological Association, any courses that exclude those topics from the curriculum could not be considered college-level and could therefore not be considered Advanced Placement. Sections of the course related to sex and gender have been taught for over 30 years, and over 28,000 Floridian high schoolers took the course in the previous academic year.
The decision comes months after the state ban of the College Board’s AP African American Studies course.
In response, Freedom to Read Program Director Kasey Meehan issued the following remarks:
“It is appalling but not surprising that Florida would attempt to gut a critical curriculum just weeks before school begins. This decision robs high schoolers in Florida of their freedom to learn, and their ability to plan for college. AP courses are specifically designed for students who are capable of college-level material, and for the government to ban mentions of gender in a college-level psychology class is as farcical as it is dangerous.
While the financial cost to families who had planned for this college credit is painfully clear, the total cost of Florida’s yearslong campaign of censorship, which is disproportionately targeting LGBTQ+ students and students of color, is unquantifiable. This level of ideologically-motivated state intervention is forcing teachers and schools into impossible positions, and undermining students’ futures as informed citizens. We applaud the College Board for maintaining the integrity of their course in the face of state intimidation, and we implore the state of Florida to end its assault on public education.”
About PEN America
PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. To learn more visit PEN.org
Contact: Suzanne Trimel, [email protected], 201-247-5057