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Ron DeSantis Overrules Dems, Will Require Schools To Teach ‘Evils of Communism And Totalitarian Ideologies’

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced new state programs for students yesterday that will require civics and patriotism to be taught and that will mandate teaching students about “the evils of communism and totalitarian ideologies.”

“Once students graduate high school, some will go to college, some of them will do other things, whatever you do, this civics is gonna be relevant because you are going to be a citizen,” DeSantis said. “We have a number of people in Florida, particularly southern Florida, who’ve escaped totalitarian regimes, who’ve escaped communist dictatorships, to be able to come to America. We want all students to understand, why would somebody flee across shark-infested waters, to come to southern Florida? Why would somebody leave a place like Vietnam? Why would be people leave these countries to risk their lives to be able to come here.”

“I’m proud to sign three bills today that prioritize civics education in our schools,” said DeSantis. “The sad reality is that only two in five Americans can correctly name the three branches of government, and more than a third of Americans cannot name any of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.

“It is abundantly clear that we need to do a much better job of educating our students in civics to prepare them for the rest of their lives. My thanks to Representative Zika, Representative Rizo, Representative Roach, Senator Ray Rodrigues, Senator Ana Maria Rodriguez and Senator Diaz for sponsoring this legislation that will ensure our students get an incredible civics education. I also want to thank President Simpson and Speaker Sprowls for making this important legislation a priority.”

“Civics education is an extremely important component of a student’s educational journey,” said Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran. “A well-rounded civics education that also includes an opportunity for students to participate in the Florida Civics and Debate Initiative gives these students an increased chance of meeting or exceeding college-readiness benchmarks, leading to almost 99 percent of them attending college and increasing the chance of being offered college scholarships. The legislation signed today is a huge step forward for our students, our state and our nation and I thank our legislators for their commitment to increasing students’ civics knowledge.”

“We are fortunate to live in the greatest country the world has ever known,” said Senate President Wilton Simpson. “We aren’t perfect, but the freedom available to every American stands in stark contrast to the dangerous ideologies that produce corrupt regimes in other countries.

“Under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, Speaker Sprowls and so many patriots in the Legislature, I’m pleased to see Florida continue to focus on civics education and literacy, and to specifically highlight brave individuals who were victims of other nations’ governing policies. We also want to make sure we have a measurement of intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity within higher education. I’m grateful to our Governor for signing these key bills into law.”

“Educating people on the crimes of communism is the cornerstone of VOC’s mission,” said Ambassador Andrew Bremberg, President and CEO of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. “This education is especially crucial for America’s youth during their formative years, so we applaud Florida for ensuring their students will receive this education.

“VOC’s most recent poll on US Attitudes Toward Socialism, Communism and Collectivism further proves the necessity of student education on communism, as only 63% of Gen Z and Millennials believe the Declaration of Independence better “guarantees freedom and equality” over the Communist Manifesto and 40% of Americans today have a favorable view of socialism.”

“As a daughter and granddaughter of Cuban refugees, my family knows firsthand the dangers Communism and the fatal consequences of totalitarian regimes,” said Senator Ana Maria Rodriguez. “May this bill serve as a tool to assure history doesn’t repeat itself in our great nation.”

House Bill 5 requires the Florida Department of Education to create an integrated K-12 civic education curriculum that includes an understanding of citizens’ shared rights and responsibilities under the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

“It further expands required instruction in high school to include a comparative discussion of political ideologies that conflict with the principles of freedom and democracy essential to the founding principles of the United States, such as communism and totalitarianism. This bill also provides a library of “Portraits in Patriotism” based on personal stories of diverse individuals who demonstrate civic minded qualities, including those who have moved to this country after being persecuted in nations like Cuba and Venezuela.