Arkansas Governor takes heat after blocking African-American studies course in schools

Arkansas Governor takes heat after blocking African-American studies course in schools
Little Rock - Following the Arkansas Department of Education's rejection of an Advanced Placement (AP) African American studies course, governor of Arkansas Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement in response to criticism.

Sanders, who issued an executive order in January prohibiting "indoctrination and critical race theory in schools," spoke out in an interview with Fox News on Thursday.

"We cannot tell our students a lie and forward the Marxist propaganda agenda, which teaches our children to despise the United States and one another. One of the reasons we passed legislation outlawing brainwashing and [critical racial theory] is because of this.

She continued, "Here in the state of Arkansas, we are doing just that. We want our kids to obtain a quality education, and we want to make sure that every student has access to it and a pathway to wealth.

The Arkansas Times reported earlier this week that the Arkansas Department of Education announced students will not receive credit for passing the course on the day the state's 2023–2024 academic year was scheduled to start.

According to the department, "The AP African American Studies pilot course is not a history course and is a pilot that is still undergoing major revisions."

"Arkansas law contains provisions regarding prohibited topics," the statement continued. "We cannot approve a pilot that could unintentionally put a teacher in violation of Arkansas law without clarity," the statement reads.

Following criticism from numerous groups, including the Arkansas State Conference of the NAACP, who stated that they were "appalled" by the action, the governor defended himself. Additionally, they charged that the state decided "at the eleventh hour."

Republicans around the country have been fighting against subjects they view as having liberal or "woke" beliefs, particularly those studying Black history or sex and gender issues. Sanders has been leading a push to impose rigorous regulations and rules on education.

With some of the most aggressive laws in the nation, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is running for president in 2024, has been leading the charge. Recent changes to the way Black history is taught in Florida mandate that teachers emphasize "how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit."
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