During the White House briefing on Friday, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the Florida Department of Education's decision to prohibit teaching AP African American Studies in high school was "incomprehensible."
- What was the White House's reaction to Governor Ron DeSantis' Education Department blocking the teaching of AP African-American studies, saying it violates Florida's new state law and, quote, "significantly lacks educational value?" Does the White House have concerns about this action by the DeSantis administration?
KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: So, firstly, I want to be very clear-- the administration does not dictate any curriculum for local schools. That is not something that we do here. But there is something that we do want to comment.
It is incomprehensible to see that this is what this ban-- or this block, to be more specific, that DeSantis has put forward. If you think about the study of Black Americans, that is what he wants to block. And again, 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, as we've talked about many times here in this briefing room. They have banned more books in schools and libraries than almost every other state in the country.
And let's not forget, they didn't ban-- they didn't block-- be more clear, I want to make sure I'm using the right word here-- they didn't block AP 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.
And it is incomprehensible, again. And I will just leave it there-- leave it there to make your own-- to make your own determination of why this occurred and why this happened. Again, it is not our place to direct or to be involved in any local school curriculum. But this is concerning.