CORRECTION| An earlier version of this story used outdated information.
Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. allowed AP Psychology classes to be taught after a public debate about whether the state law made it possible.
The College Board stated on Aug. 3 that AP Psychology was “effectively banned” in Florida because teaching foundational content on sexual orientation and gender identity is illegal under state law. However, Diaz Jr. later stated in a memo that the course is compliant under state law.
This ban is not effective in Texas or Florida, however, William Brown, South chair of behavioral sciences and professor of psychology, believes the issue could translate to this state.
“Learning about it is what educational institutions should be about,” he said. “So that should be a place where the hearsay, the misinformation, the bias and the marginalization within the educational environment should get undermined. Where people get the actual facts and get the opportunity to discuss these things critically, but in a well-informed way.”
Brown said a minority of very loud voices are advocating for certain restrictions, whether it be these gender identity issues or issues of race and ethnicity.
“When that [diversity] is removed, it hampers education,” he said. “You want a well-informed citizenry. You certainly don’t want people that can be blindsided because they don’t understand. Again, education should be playing that role at that level, as well as higher education.”
One staff member, who preferred to stay anonymous because of their position at TCC and is part of the queer community, believes limiting any education is a bad idea and that there are ways to teach sexuality and gender identity at certain levels.
“It’s so when students go off on to college, they have that knowledge with them already,” they said. “If they’re going into the medical or counseling field, that’s something that they need to know before they get to university.”