Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law three bills to strengthen the vital civics education in public schools, including educating students about the evil of communism and creating a special library for real American patriots who escaped the evil ideology.
The three laws in question are House Bill 5 on the civic education curriculum in the public school system in Florida, Senate Bill 1108 on education, and House Bill 233 on postsecondary education.
People have to understand how dangerous communism is
During the signing ceremony, DeSantis emphasized what he described as the “sad reality” of American education: namely, that only two out of five Americans are able to identify the three branches of government or that over 30% of Americans are unable to name the First Amendment rights.
He, therefore, argued that there was an urgent need to better the students’ education in civics as a means of preparation for adult life. DeSantis explicitly dwelled on the bill expanding civics education in light of the newly added requirement mandating education on the horrors of communism and other totalitarian ideologies.
The Governor stated that a large portion of Florida’s population is made up of people who escaped totalitarian regimes and communist dictatorships such as those in Cuba, Venezuela, and Vietnam.
He said one of the top goals of the updated civics education curriculum was to empower students to understand why a person would risk their life just in order to flee such a regime: in the case of Cuba, for example, why countless people are prepared to flee through “shark-infested waters” to reach Florida’s coast in the United States.
Portraits of Patriotism
DeSantis elaborated on the importance of the students understanding how the evils of communism have shaped human desire for freedom and, in more specific, practical terms, flight to America as a beacon of freedom.
As part of the same bill, he announced the creation of a library on “Portraits of Patriotism” so that Florida’s students are able to learn about the lives of real American patriots who had precisely escaped from communist regimes after witnessing their horrors.
Considering Florida’s population, House Bill 5 stipulates that the Portraits of Patriotism library would pay particular attention to those who have fled to America after facing persecution in counties such as Cuba and Venezuela.
Senate Bill 1108 requires that students in state colleges and universities take at least one civic literacy course and at least one civic literacy assessment to serve as a graduation requirement.
House Bill 233 stipulates that postsecondary students in Florida should have the intellectual freedom to be shown diverse ideas regardless of whether they disagree with them or consider them uncomfortable.