**Florida’s Rules on Gender Identity Restrict AP Psychology Course, says College Board**
The College Board has stated that Florida’s regulations limiting the teaching of gender identity topics have effectively banned an advanced high-school psychology course administered by the non-profit organization.
**College Board’s Statement and Advice to Florida Districts**
The College Board released a statement on Thursday, clarifying that any AP Psychology course taught in Florida would violate either Florida law or college requirements. They advised Florida districts not to offer AP Psychology until the state reverses its decision and allows parents and students to choose to take the full course.
**Florida Department of Education’s Restrictions**
According to the board, the Florida Department of Education is requiring schools to omit discussions regarding gender and sexual identity in their Advanced Placement Psychology course. The College Board’s policy specifies that censored curriculum does not qualify for the AP designation. This issue follows previous criticism from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over the College Board’s AP African American History course.
**Role of Sex and Gender Topics in AP Psychology**
The College Board emphasizes that sex and gender topics have been part of the AP Psychology coursework for the past 30 years. The curriculum includes a section on how sex and gender influence socialization and various aspects of development. However, the board mentioned that the coursework does not dictate how teachers should present these topics.
**Florida Department of Education’s Response**
Cassie Palelis, a spokesperson for the Florida Department of Education, rejects the College Board’s claim. She stated in an email that the course remains listed in Florida’s Course Code Directory for the upcoming school year and emphasized that other providers still offer college credit for the course. Palelis encouraged the College Board to continue offering the course and allow teachers to operate accordingly.
**Instruction of High-School Teachers According to Florida Law**
High-school teachers in Florida have been instructed to follow the controversial Parental Rights in Education Law, which restricts discussions on gender identity and sexual orientation. Often referred to as the “Don’t Say Gay” law by critics, it was expanded in April to include students from kindergarten through grade 12. Supporters argue that the law gives parents greater oversight of their children’s education, while critics argue that it negatively impacts LGBTQ+ students and teachers.
**Democratic State Representative’s Response**
State Representative Anna Eskamani, a Democrat, strongly criticized the exclusion of AP Psychology from the state’s high schools. She described it as a politically motivated decision that will hinder students’ access to a well-rounded and college-ready education.
**Previous Controversy Surrounding the College Board and Florida**
In February, the College Board unveiled a framework for its AP African American History course, which had previously faced criticism from Governor Ron DeSantis. The governor’s comments regarding the course drew backlash from over 800 African American Studies professors and other educators.
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