By Ryan Dailey, The News Service of Florida
TALLAHASSEE — Calling it a “blockbuster day for freedom,” Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday signed a bill that will require public-school students to observe “Victims of Communism Day” on Nov. 7 each year.
The new law, which went into effect immediately, describes the day as being geared toward “honoring the 100 million people who have fallen victim to communist regimes” across the world.
The law also gives DeSantis authority to extend observance of the day beyond public schools, as it requires that Victims of Communism Day “be suitably observed by public exercise in the State Capitol and elsewhere as the governor may designate.”
DeSantis signed the measure (HB 395) at the Freedom Tower in Miami, where Cuban refugees who fled to South Florida in the 1960s were processed as they arrived in the United States.
“We want to make sure that every year folks in Florida, but particularly our students, will learn about the evils of communism. The dictators that have led communist regimes and the hundreds of millions of individuals who suffered and continue to suffer under the weight of this discredited ideology,” DeSantis said, adding that “a lot of young people don’t really know that much” about the political ideology.
Under the law, a curriculum about various communist regimes throughout history and their leaders will be added to high school U.S. government courses. At least 45 minutes of required Victims of Communism Day instruction will be added during the 2023-2024 school year.
The measure will require the State Board of Education to adopt the new standards by April 2023.
The added requirement is a continuation of efforts by DeSantis and lawmakers to condemn communism through education.
Last summer, DeSantis signed a bill that revised social-studies requirements for high-school graduation to include in U.S. government courses “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.”
DeSantis was joined at the bill-signing event by Republican lawmakers including the state’s incoming education commissioner, Sen. Manny Diaz, Jr., a Hialeah Republican who will begin the education job June 1.
“It is our job to make sure that this tower (the Freedom Tower) stands, that the lessons stand for next generations so they understand the value of freedom and the perils of communism,” Diaz said.
DeSantis also announced Monday that he will approve $25 million in the state budget for the upcoming fiscal year for renovations to the tower. Lawmakers approved the budget for the 2022-2023 fiscal year in March but have not formally sent it to DeSantis, who has line-item veto power.
DeSantis went to the tower on Nov. 15 to pitch restoration work for the nearly 100-year-old building, which Diaz on Monday told the Miami crowd is “our Ellis Island.”
The governor also signed a bill (SB 160) that will place designation markers on Florida roads honoring prominent figures, including three named after Cuban people who fought against the Castro regime.
Two roads in Miami-Dade County will be designated as “Arturo Diaz Artiles Plaza” and “Oswaldo Payá Way,” and a road in Hillsborough County will be designated “Maximino Capdevila Road.”
— News Service staff writer Jim Turner contributed to this report.
Thankfully, there are not now nor have there even been any victims of unfettered capitalism.
I too remember Americanism vs. Communism in high school. The textbook was biased. By the end of the course, I questioned Americanism as much as Communism.
An adversarial relationship between parents and teachers places students in the cross-hairs. Whom are students to believe as they watch parents and teachers wear their political concerns on their sleeves? More disturbing, many of their teachers present icons of American history as evil or espouse the treatment of simple biological truth as debatable. The current situation in public K-12 resembles the debilitating and inevitably unsuccessful irony of the smoking parent telling his teen not to smoke. The wasted effort reveals duplicitousness. Thus, even responsible youngsters find themselves adrift intellectually and emotionally. The bill that Governor DeSantis has signed attempts to address this problem—I say “attempt” because I’m afraid little will change as long as teachers’ unions remain “woke.”
Its too much of a challange for the peabrain left to attack this subject other than mumbling incoherently about “DeSantis Bad”.
Because there is no sexual minority, racial minority, or murdering of babies in the bill to use in order to turn society against each other.
So if you are Lena or some other self rightious leftist, all you really have, other than incohereant leftist talking points is ” DeSantis Bad”
Anti-power-madness, anti-racist, anti-Illiberal Leftist/ -Red/ -Dem/ -Regressive/ -Socialist/ -Fascist/ -Nazi/ -Marxist/ -Communist/ -Bolshevik/ -Stalinist/ -Maoist/ -Collectivist, Pro-USA, pro-USA-patriots, pro-USA-constitution ?, pro-ThanksGiving, pro-Liberty ?, pro-family ???????, pro-motherhood & -fatherhood, pro free speech & debate, respect for rights to own & carry arms for the defense of ourselves & families & friends & neighbors, pro-30K-50K citizens per congress-critter (as the founders clearly stated they desired), pro-books ?, pro-private-property, pro-privacy, pro-producing value, anti-murder, anti-kidnapping, anti-rape, anti-slavery, anti-initiation of fraud & force decades!! Proclaim& defend liberty ? throughout the world for all the inhabitants thereof! ? ??
I get enthused; listened to Mark Levin playing recording of cousin Francis’s poem about the defense of Ft. McHenry. May Ha Shem bless us & guide us all (even Lena & Putin & Rocky & Nasty Pelosi & HitleryRottenClinton & incoherent Joe & his puppeteers & the mullahs & cousin Obummer & Xi Jinping & rocket-boy & betrayer McConnell & Zuckerbucks & Soros & Chapek…).
Lena, you talk in platitudes…and here they are: We have people shooting at each other in the best of areas. We have home insurers dropping coverage everywhere, climate change threatening our coastal cities and red tides from widespread pollution.
1 is not true. The same area of town is our shooting ‘hot spot’ and 2, with the word ‘everywhere’, shoots all of your arguments in the foot and 3 and 4…we have them but as a problem…no.
We had Americanism vs. Communism when I was in high school. Communism and Nazism use the same control methods.
Schools SHOULD teach the TRUTH about Communism, Socialism, Capitalism, World History, American History, Liberalism, Conservatism and a few other ism’s. The TRUTH, not some newly made up crap that has been recently invented just to get Votes.
What DJ and Hope said…
This is not indoctrination – it is a requirement that a very dangerous form of government be taught, put back in the system, so that students can understand all sides of Communism. When I was in middle school and high school a loooong time back, we took “Civics” which included extensive teaching about Government – and it addressed all of the various forms of government around the world including Communism. It opened my eyes to the pain and suffering and mass killings its elites foisted on their people and ultimately was designed to reduce the masses’ living standards except for the elites who attained enormous wealth and power. If the current education union-designed curriculum was not designed to indoctrinate our kids on the “evils” of capitalism and democracy, but instead provided honest open facts about various types of government I doubt the young people today would be so radically liberal.
Lena You are welcome to move to another state that is move aligned with your values. We are very proud of Governor Desantis
This is a bill telling our students how to think about a certain topic. Last I checked, that is almost the very definition of indoctrination. I’m all for teachers being required to teach students about different political ideologies all around the world and shedding light on what worked and what didn’t; what I take issue with is the fact that teachers have to tell their students how to feel about communism. School is where students should be presented with unbiased facts and taught to think critically about how to interpret those facts. From what I can see it’s worked for the last 70 years or so since we aren’t a communist society. Are we really okay with telling our students what/how to think? What if this was a bill mandating schools to learn about the “dangers” of capitalism? I hope to never live in a communistic society, but I also hope to never live in a society where people are not given the FREEDOM to have their own thoughts.
I understand your frustration that you cannot think of any accomplishments on your side of the fence so you criticize someone who has a lot of accomplishments. I know it’s frustrating for you. Maybe some meditation will help to relieve your anxiety.
Awesome governor! It’s very telling on which side of this topic leftists are on- I think there ought to be much more than 45 minutes!
Best Governor in America!
Our state is becoming the biggest joke.
We have people shooting at each other in the best of areas. We have home insurers dropping coverage everywhere, climate change threatening our coastal cities and red tides from widespread pollution.
But, we get anti-Communism Day.
What a joke of a non-governor.
Vote ANYONE but the Republicans next time and maybe we can get an ACTUAL government.
This will be a good educational lesson for many teachers as well as for the students. Thank you, Governor DeSantis.