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DeSantis Signs Bill Forcing Schools to Teach Evils of Communism

AMAC Exclusive


Earlier this year, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis became a national hero to conservatives when he orchestrated the banning of Critical Race Theory (CRT) from Florida’s public school classrooms, one of the first Republican governors to do so. Last week, DeSantis notched another major victory, this time going on the offensive in the fight against CRT by signing a bill that not only prohibits the teaching of leftist propaganda in schools, but that also specifically directs teachers to talk to their students about the disastrous legacy of Marxism and Communism.

At a signing event for the legislation last week, held at a Fort Myers-area middle school, DeSantis said that he wanted Florida to be the “number one state for civic literacy.” He also emphasized the importance of teaching students about the United States’ greatest achievements as a means of fostering patriotism and encouraging students to have pride in their history. “Ultimately, these kids will probably all do different pathways in life,” he said. “All of those people are going to be citizens, they’re all going to be part of making sure that our country is able to preserve the freedoms that we possess.”

The legislation, known as HB 5, requires Florida high school government courses to include “a comparative discussion of political ideologies, such as Communism and totalitarianism, that conflict with the principles of freedom and democracy essential to the founding principles of the United States.” It also requires K-12 instructors to provide “first-person accounts of victims of other nations’ governing philosophies who can compare those philosophies with those of the United States,” a new initiative appropriately titled “portraits in patriotism.”

In practice, Florida Republicans are hopeful that the measure will lead students to an intellectually honest inquiry about the merits of American democracy as opposed to other political and economic ideologies. As AMAC Newsline has extensively documented, many schools have abandoned traditional lessons about patriotism and civic responsibility in favor of “woke” narratives that teach that America is an irredeemably racist country built on racist institutions.

True to form, the mainstream media and liberal academics have been quick to cry that DeSantis is pushing an overly-romanticized version of American history, accusing him of whitewashing America’s past even while the left’s preferred curriculum ignores some of the worst atrocities in human history perpetrated by Marxist regimes.

As the plain text of the Florida bill makes clear, HB 5 requires instructors to provide their students with an account of this brutal history of communist regimes in places like China, Venezuela, and Nicaragua – something that has been glaringly absent from classroom instruction in recent years. If faithfully executed, the legislation would ensure that students can weigh evidence and decide for themselves which system of government is best, returning to the original ideal of civics education.

Florida Republicans are also betting that by exposing falsehoods about the merits of Marxism and socialism, they’ll be striking a blow against the influence of CRT in schools as well. As many conservative thought leaders, including here at AMAC, have pointed out, CRT and other related ideologies are little more than a rebranding of Marxist-Communist ideas from the 19th and 20th centuries to make them more effective in the American context. By exposing the truth about Marxism’s legacy in other countries, students can draw their own conclusions about the likely effects of its derivative ideologies, like CRT, in the United States.

Floridians need look no further than the large Cuban and Venezuelan populations throughout the state as evidence of the evils of communism – something DeSantis acknowledged Tuesday. “Why would somebody flee across shark infested waters, say leaving from Cuba, to come to southern Florida?” he said. “Why would somebody leave a place like Vietnam? Why would people leave these countries and risk their life to be able to come here? It’s important that students understand that.”

DeSantis also signed two other pieces of legislation on the same day related to Florida’s university system. The first, SB 1108, will require state college and university students to take a civics literacy course and assessment as a requirement for graduation. However, high school students can be exempted from the requirement by passing a civics literacy assessment before going to college.

The second, and perhaps more groundbreaking bill, known as HB 233, will require state education officials to create an “objective, nonpartisan and statistically valid survey” in order to gauge “intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity” on college and university campuses. This is welcome and long-overdue news to many conservative students who have grown increasingly vocal about censorship on college campuses, something DeSantis echoed at the signing event. “It used to be thought that a university campus was a place where you’d be exposed to a lot of different ideas,” DeSantis said. “Unfortunately now, the norm is really, these are intellectually repressive environments… students should not be shielded from ideas.”

All in all, the three bills DeSantis signed last week are likely to make Florida’s education system a model for other states. By protecting all viewpoints and fostering a complete understanding of history from a young age, DeSantis and the Republican-controlled legislature are not only countering vile ideologies like CRT, they are laying the foundations for a broader revitalization of education systems across the nation.

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2 months ago

Please don’t forget about communism in Russia, and whole eastern bloc countries where atrocities happened!!!! Starting with Bolshevik revolution in 1917 and taking over countries after WWII!!!

Edward B. Irvin
2 months ago

A great goverenor indeed!

Donald S Bascom
2 months ago

Yes, we need more governors like Mr. Desantis.

2 months ago

Excellent article, I’m extremely happy Ron Desantis did this. More Republican governors should do this. Maybe more Dems will wake up to this Communist/Marxist Party threat.

Donald S Bascom
2 months ago
Reply to  Nan

Totally agree with you Nan.

Rebecca Battle
2 months ago

Hooray for Santis! Again he’s shown he has more guts than most governors. I’m proud of him even though I live way across the country from Florida!

Donald S Bascom
2 months ago
Reply to  Rebecca Battle

You are so right Rebecca!

2 months ago

Bravo Ron Desantis. Wishing you the best. Don’t let the Communist Party (Dems) screw up this too.

Paul Brown
2 months ago

The left wing morons will do anything to destroy everything good about our country, they have a reputation for destroying everything they touch, and we have to put a stop to it someway. We fought in many wars against communism and now they want to bring it here. They have been trying to take this country and our government over from within for a long time, and we have to stop them. They are traitors to this country. If this happen with a regular citizen, they would be arrested and held for treason and trying to overthrow the Presidency of our only duly elected President Trump.

Thomas Carlucci
2 months ago

The liberal left, the socialists, the communists, and the Democratic Party have been inching closer and closer to taking control of this country. It is overdue the time the conservative right, the moral majority puts up another side of politics for students to see. Enough brainwashing! It’s like one of the ideals of journalism: give a fair, objective story and let the public decide. Let people know the truth and let them decide. Do not decide for them. Do not force them to believe the liberals. Give them the opportunity to see both sides–then decide.

vincent meis
2 months ago

I thought I was reading the good book the news was so good

2 months ago

Good for him and kudos. I hope it works. We need a true and balanced education.

Donald S Bascom
2 months ago
Reply to  Jeanette

Yes we do, Jeanette. Thank you!

2 months ago

Governor Ron DeSantis is doing such a great job. I wish we had a governor like him in New Jersey. But we don’t! Corrupt Goldman Sachs Murphy……….

2 months ago

As far as I am concerned we need to do this in ALL 50 states, as well as go back to teaching the REAL ACTUAL HISTORY instead of the liberal B.S that they are INDOCTRINATING the young minds in this country with to teach them how to be good little OBEDIENT COMMUNISTS after they graduate.

2 months ago

Florida high schools had to comply with state law (in the 1970s-80s when I was in high school) that required completion of a course named “Americanism versus Communism,” in 11th grade as a prerequisite to high school graduation. It was a very good, honest exploration of the pluses and minuses of both systems, including the good, the bad, and the ugly of both systems (at least the way it was taught by my teacher). Did that requirement go away? Or is this just window dressing coming at an opportune moment? Hopefully, the exploration of this subject in schools will be as good as the one I experienced as an 11th grader.

2 months ago

Last year in HS and 1st year of college: The story of Lenin and Stalin–including the deaths, in detail. The imprisonments. The executions. The war. The Moscow Trials. Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon. Solzhenitsyn. The suppression of speech and the ideological supervision of belief and learning. The story of Mao and the deaths of 40-60 million Chinese people. The cultural revolution. The struggle sessions. The absence of any protection of individual liberties or rights. Hitler and National Socialism. The Holocaust. Again and again: the suppression of speech, freedom, the forced conformity to have everyone believing and uttering the same things. The attacks on people who did not conform. The slaughter of the 20th Century. Teach these things!

2 months ago

The left is all about lying and misrepresenting their ulterior motives. They want nothing less than the total destruction of the most unique nation ever to exist. They want to destroy liberty, freedom, opportunity, individualism, free speech and most importantly our history and Christianity. They want to do what they think they are entitled to while oppressing we the people. This has been brewing for many years while most Americans pursued the American dream and leaving important decisions to politicians as they sell out our nation and get filthy rich (and entitled) off our backs. Our government is “of the people, for the people and BY the people”. Sadly in pursuit of our dreams our once free and rich nation has been sold out by self enriching politicians and “we the people” instead of researching and holding them accountable have let them get away with it. As the pot head Timothy Leary opined back in the 60’s “we’re gonna tear this nation down and dance on the rubble.” Welcome to the United States of Amerika.
Ben Franklin said it best when asked what the best kind of government is: “A republic IF you can keep it.” Voting the “party line” is foolhardy. George Wallace said “There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between a demorat and a republican.” American’s have been to busy to research the quality of the men and women they vote for.
As ugly and unwelcome as it is, “we the people” have been to busy.

2 months ago

Our schools teach White students that they are immoral and contemptible if they don’t support the White Genocide that’s being carried out by unlimited third-world immigration and FORCED assimilation i.e diversity in EVERY White country and ONLY White countries.

Their teachers never tell them, “White self-hatred is SICK!!!“

Those teachers claim to be anti-racist. What they are is anti-White.

Anti-racist is a code word for anti-White.

2 months ago

So, in one measure he works to stop the government from telling schools what to teach, and with the next measure tells schools what to teach. Both of which are influenced by his opinion and political persuasion. This is dangerous. This is what they do in authoritarian countries like North Korea and China. Beyond having a set of standards as every state does, debated and approved by Boards of Education, individual politicians need to steer clear of behavior like this. I do not approve of EITHER measure being mandated, regardless of where I stand on the issues. An authoritarian move like this should be seen as dangerous to everyone.

2 months ago
Reply to  Donnie

I can’t really imagine an honest and effective and balanced treatment of CRT in high school. Critical theory in general–from Marx on down–is more appropriate at college or grad-level. All nations educate their people in the history and rationale for their Constitutions and basic legal histories. That seems entirely appropriate and healthy, though there should always be space given to dissenters and critics along the way. We have the Federalist Papers–a great text. We have Danielle Allen’s great book on Our Declaration. I’m not seeing the authoritarianism you are talking about.

2 months ago
Reply to  Donnie

And your a CRT supporter

2 months ago
Reply to  Donnie

SOMEONE has to step up and STOP the “indoctrination” of impressionable young minds.
“actual history” has been “changed” to reflect what the “liberals” WANT it to be, NOT what actually occurred.THAT my friend is NOT “teaching” but a form of BRAINWASHING.

Last edited 2 months ago by cliff
2 months ago

This is fascism.

2 months ago

Go Governor DeSantis!Tell the Truth.Your a Patriot!

2 months ago

Next step is to fire or prosecute educators that refuse to cooperate in stifling DemocRat Propaganda supporting Communism (disguised and disowned by them … publicly).

Henry Crum
2 months ago

We truthfully need civics courses in our grammar and high schools. Most students graduating from high school have no idea that is US is a Republic rather than a Democracy. They do not know the Bill of rights or the original Constitution. They don’t know the amendments or the history of why they occurred. These should be basic to the education of any US citizen. We have the majority of college graduates today that have never read the US Constitution, much less studied it. I agree that teaching the failures of Communism is important, but without knowledge of our own system, how can they really compare?

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