Another Failure in their Commitment to Students: Florida’s Department of Education Orders the Removal of Gender and Sexuality Unit from AP Psychology Course

by Aneesha Pappy

Continued censorship targeting LGBTQ+ people and Black Americans ignores facts and harms Florida students

ORLANDO, FLORIDA – The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, in parallel with the American Psychological Association (APA), condemns the Florida Department of Education’s decision to require the removal of the Gender and Sexuality unit from College Board’s AP Psychology curriculum. Without the inclusion of this unit, College Board will not recognize the course as an AP level class, leaving students who take the censored course ineligible for college credit.

LGBTQ+ Americans are navigating a National State of Emergency, facing attempts across the country to erase LGBTQ+ people and force them back into the closet. After the passage of the “Don’t Say LGBTQ+” law, alongside a plethora of other discriminatory legislation in Florida, the state’s Department of Education has moved forward with requiring the removal of gender identity and sexual orientation from their psychology curriculum, caving to anti-LGBTQ+ extremists and hindering Florida students interested in further pursuing this field in higher education.

“Psychology is centered around people– all people. Erasing us from the curriculum ignores our existence, sets back Florida students who want to pursue psychology in higher education and disrupts pathways for future mental health professionals to provide comprehensive, culturally competent mental healthcare for the LGBTQ+ community. College Board’s AP Psychology curriculum is science-driven and endorsed by both educators and experts. Educational systems that reject the inclusion of LGBTQ+ people from their psychology courses are failing in their commitment to students.

“As anti-LGBTQ+ lawmakers pass discriminatory legislation and spread dangerous misinformation, we’re continuing to see disturbing attempts to rewrite history and censor education, misaligned with the realities of our country. The Florida Board of Education’s recent decision to pass African American History standards that try to spin slavery as beneficial for Black people is not just abhorrent, it is an absolute injustice for Black Americans and all Florida students who deserve to have a fact-based, complete understanding of our nation’s past. Now, Florida’s Department of Education has further compromised the quality of education in the state by acting as if LGBTQ+ people don’t exist. LGBTQ+ people do exist, and any decision to remove us from curricula isn’t going to change that.”

Kelley Robinson, Human Rights Campaign President

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.


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