LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Thursday, the Little Rock School District board voted unanimously to continue to offer AP African American studies. 

This comes despite the course being deleted from the Arkansas Department of Education course lists because of fear that it may “indoctrinate students with ideologies such as critical race theory.”

The decision to continue to allow AP African American studies in LRSD classrooms was an easy one for Superintendent Dr. Jermall Wright.

“I’m thankful to work in a school district and live in a community where we all unite and come together, when need be, when it is time to take a stand against what we know is only right to do,” Superintendent Wright said.

While giving thanks, thanks were given right back, From Elizabeth Eckford, one of the members of the Little Rock 9.

Eckford received a standing ovation while approaching the podium. 

“African American history reveals the lived experiences of our people. I applaud efforts to teach the facts and consequences of American history,” Eckford said. 

Her message was directed to Superintendent Wright, Central High School Principal Nancy Rousseau and Ruthie Wall. 

The only LRSD school that offers AP African American History is Central High School. Miss Ruthie Wall teaches this class. 

Wall was surprised with the “Ruthie Walls AP African American Studies Scholarship” for a student at Little Rock Central High School who excels in the AP African American Studies course.

The scholarship was presented by Senator Clark Tucker (D). 

“Hopefully, I know we just started this school year, but as we prepare for the upcoming school year, that we will have more opportunities for student to take this course even outside of Central,” Superintendent Wright said.

Arkansas Education Secretary Jacob Oliva sent out a letter Monday August 21 to five school districts that said they will offer the class in the current school year.

Those letters were sent to the superintendents over the Little Rock, North Little Rock, Jonesboro, Jacksonville and eStem schools.

As far as the Department of Education is concerned, the course will not follow Arkansas law, the letter states that all districts wanting to teach the class must submit all material for the class by September 8, along with a statement vowing that they will not violate Arkansas law.