In Florida, politics and law have begun to meddle with the public education system. A new law instated by Governor Ron DeSantis that prohibits talk of sexuality and gender in the classroom has now been cause to try and remove the AP Psychology class from Florida schools.
Due to the unit in the class that covers the effect of socialization based on gender and sex, Florida’s Chief of Education Manny Diaz Jr. told Florida school districts that they couldn’t teach the class in their schools.
“It’s a very brief topic in the course we cover over the course of a few days,” said Anne Sweeney, an AP Psychology teacher at Oswego High School. “I don’t think it’s a very controversial topic the way it is taught.”
Diaz Jr. later recanted this instead saying that they could teach the class but they would need to not cover that specific unit. It is unclear if this is him backstepping or if he just poorly worded his original message.
Even with the recant of his prior statement, seven of the eleven largest districts in Florida are still removing the class from their schools.
“It’s a very brief topic in the course we cover over the course of a few days,” Said Sweeney.
If the politicians that wanted to make these changes actually took the time to review and look at the courses they want to ban, they would see they are making a problem where there really isn’t one here.
Having politics influence education just serves to frustrate everyone involved. It is mostly unnecessary and we should leave the education to the trained educators and not politicians.
According to the RAND Corporation, “Forty-eight percent of principals and 40 percent of teachers reported that the intrusion of political issues and opinions into their professions was a job-related stressor.”
So then why do we allow politicians to make laws that change the curriculums even if they have no prior experience in this field, and why are governors and politicians able to change courses just because they don’t like what is being taught?
Before anybody gets to make any decision regarding what is taught in schools they should have to meet certain criteria.
For one, they should be required to have some sort of background in education. People with zero knowledge of the field of education should not be able to make large decisions within that field. In almost any other field that would be an absolutely ridiculous thing to have happen. Imagine a civilian trying to tell a doctor how to do their job.
Second, They need to actively review whatever they want to change. Last year I took AP Psychology and the time in which we talked about gender and sexuality was brief to say the least.
The situation in Florida has some harrowing implications behind it. If bills like the “Don’t say gay” bill get passed in other states then we could have a potential crisis on our hands. If states continue to let politics influence their education systems then groups of people will continue to be marginalized and systematically oppressed.