Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed new legislation on Tuesday that will require public schools to teach students about “the evils of communism.”
“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,” DeSantis said at a news conference.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announces he is signing a bill requiring high school students to learn about the “evils of communism and totalitarian ideologies.” The bill also creates a library that allows students to learn about “real patriots” who escaped communism and socialism. pic.twitter.com/x9cvBv5jXK
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) June 22, 2021
“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,” he added, according to a news release from the Florida Department of Education.
One of the three bills included a requirement to specifically teach about the negatives of communism.
“The bill also expands our previous efforts in civics to add a requirement for the high school government class that students receive instruction on the evils of communism and totalitarian ideologies,” 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,” DeSantis said.
The governor tweeted on Tuesday a video of Ana Abaunza, “who escaped social regimes” in Nicaragua and Venezuela before coming to the United States, according to the news release.
Today, I signed HB 5 alongside Ana Abaunza, who escaped socialist regimes. Her story spotlights the necessity of teaching our youth why we have and will continue to fight for freedom.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) June 22, 2021
The specific bill teaching against communism is House Bill 5: Civic Education Curriculum.
It states, in part, “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,” according to The Daily Wire.
DeSantis has signed several recent bills related to education in Florida. Last week, the governor signed a bill that will require public schools to hold a moment of silence at the beginning of each day.
The bill will give students the opportunity to “reflect and be able to pray as they see fit,” WJXT-TV reported.
“The idea that you can just push God out of every institution and be successful, I’m sorry, our Founding Fathers did not believe that,” DeSantis said.
HB 529, which will go into effect on July 1, will put in place one- to two-minute moments of silence in the classrooms of the Sunshine State’s public schools.
“The Legislature finds that in today’s hectic society too few persons are able to experience even a moment of quiet reflection before plunging headlong into the activities of daily life,” the bill reads, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
“Young persons are particularly affected by the absence of an opportunity for a moment of quiet reflection. The Legislature finds that our youth, and society as a whole, would be well served if students in the public schools were afforded a moment of silence at the beginning of each school day.”
First-period teachers will be required to institute the moment of silence in public schools, WJXT reported.
The law states that teachers aren’t allowed to “make suggestions as to the nature of any reflection that a student may engage in during the moment of silence,” WJXT reported, and students “may not interfere with other students’ participation.”
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