The Student News Site of Chandler High School

The Wolf Howl

The Student News Site of Chandler High School

The Wolf Howl

The Student News Site of Chandler High School

The Wolf Howl

Florida’s Attack on Higher Education Only Hurts its Students

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Andrew Phillips

Florida is in a state of turmoil.  Amid political strife, education has been weaponized by the current leadership to promote personal gain.  Which class is the subject of this attack? Advanced Placement (AP) Psychology.   Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill was signed into law a year ago, disparagingly referred to as the ‘Don’t Say Gay BIll’ by its dissidents.  This piece of policy was designed to limit the mentioning of LGBTQ+ topics in an educational environment, and it’s now being applied to ban AP Psychology, a class taken by over 300,000 students.

The problem doesn’t arise from the entire Psychology course, however.  Specifically, unit 6.7, Gender and Sexual Orientation, is being scrutinized by Florida’s leadership. The class itself isn’t being completely banned though,  as Matt Lavietes of NBC writes, “Florida will allow superintendents to offer the college-level psychology class for high schoolers if they exclude LGBTQ topics.” The College Board responded by instructing Florida that any course excluding this unit could no longer call itself AP, a tactical move that hits Florida where it hurts: its wallet.  Teachers’ salaries and bonuses would be impacted by the removal of the AP designation, and the effects of College Board’s statement were felt immediately.  The Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. quickly back-pedaled in a statement made on August 9 instructing all Florida schools that they could, in fact, teach AP Psychology in its entirety, saying that the course “can be taught consistent with Florida law.

I can’t help but view this as a political move designed to draw attention to Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis.  As the presidential election is quickly approaching, gaining publicity is crucial to beating out Trump as the Republican Party frontrunner.  Playing off of conservatives’ fears regarding issues relating to gender and sexuality, Governor DeSantis can both improve his standing with his political party while simultaneously giving himself enough plausible deniability to claim it was all a misunderstanding when the backlash really starts to hit.  Ron DeSantis is a fencesitter of the highest degree, and his underhanded political games are insultingly obvious.

The consequences of almost banning this course can be felt in more states than Florida.  Here at Chandler High, our own IB Psychology teacher, Courtney Kemp, understands the far-reaching implications this move can have, saying, “when we go through and filter education we are setting ourselves up for failure.”  Watering down what we teach the next generation will never yield beneficial results, and ignoring fundamental aspects of human existence for the purposes of not offending the delicate sensibilities of a few people will undoubtedly end poorly.

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About the Contributor
Andrew Phillips, News Editor
Andrew Phillips is an 18 year old senior at CHS and is a news editor in the Wolf Howl. As a news editor, he looks at current events happening locally, statewide, nationally, and internationally then writes articles with an unbiased eye. Starting as a sophomore, Andrew’s initial introduction to newspaper was his English teacher’s recommendation. This year in newspaper, Andrew is looking forward to writing about political and worldwide issues. His interest in “writing articles about tension and issues with authority” fuels his involvement in the writing of news articles. In the future, Andrew is looking into a career in law, and his time and experience in Wolf Howl will improve his writing and speaking skills as a whole.