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Learning about the Black Lives Matter movement will now be optional in a new AP Black history class after Florida Gov. DeSantis publicly rejected the course

Ron DeSantis and wife Casey DeSantisFlorida Gov. Ron DeSantis

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  • The College Board released its new framework for its AP African American Studies course Wednesday.
  • The course makes topics like Black Lives Matter, reparations, and queer studies optional for students to learn.
  • Florida Governor Ron DeSantis previously blocked the course and accused it of imposing “a political agenda.”

The College Board announced a new framework for their African American studies class Wednesday, turning topics like the Black Lives Matter movement and queer studies optional after a previous version of the course was vocally rejected by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. 

The course includes content on Africa, slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Civil Rights Movement.

But much of its modern content — like Black Lives Matter, affirmative action, Black queer studies, and reparations — has been both watered down and labeled as optional for a required research project.

According to the course framework, those optional topics “are not a required part of the course framework that is formally adopted by states and that defines the exam” and “can be refined by states and districts.”

There is also a lengthy section in the course introduction detailing that College Board “opposes indoctrination” — language DeSantis and Republicans have used in the past — and that “AP students are not required to feel certain ways about themselves or the course content.”

College Board did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment on whether the changes to the course were a direct result of DeSantis’ public rejection of the course.

They also did not return Insider’s request for comment on whether other or all AP courses will include optional content. 

In January, DeSantis’ administration blocked the class from being offered, saying it imposed “a political agenda” with its content on queer theory and prison abolition. 

“This is a course on black history—what’s one of the lessons about? Queer theory. Now, who would say that an important part of black history is queer theory? That is somebody pushing an agenda on our kids,” DeSantis said in a press conference.

DeSantis’ office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

When College Board announced that it would rework the course based on student feedback from a pilot program in 60 high schools, Florida’s education department said it expected the removal of so-called “critical race theory” and “queer studies” from the class.

“AP courses are standardized nationwide, and as a result of Florida’s strong stance against identity politics and indoctrination, students across the country will consequentially have access to an historically accurate, unbiased course,” Director of Communications for the Florida Department of Education Alex Lanfranconi said in a statement at the time. 

Florida’s legislature previously passed regulations that limit how topics like queer identity, sexual orientation, and racism are taught and talked about in schools.

The Florida Department of Education did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment on the new course. 

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