Desantis Signs a Law Requiring Florida Students to Learn About “Communist Victims”
Governor Ron DeSantis’ “don’t say gay” rule has banned discussions of gender identity and sexual orientation in many Florida classrooms, along with dozens of math textbooks that have been barred for “prohibited issues.”
Now, the Republican, who has denounced what he perceives as “indoctrination” of children, has made another subject mandatory: kids must get at least 45 minutes of teaching about “victims of communism” every November.
DeSantis signed House Bill 395, recognizing November 7 as Victims of Communism Day, into law Monday at Miami’s historic Freedom Tower, where tens of thousands of Cuban exiles fleeing Fidel Castro’s revolution were welcomed into the US between 1962 and 1974.
Florida is one of just a few states that recognize the day, although it is thought to be the first to require school instruction on that day.
According to DeSantis, the instruction will begin in the 2023-2024 school year and will include lessons on Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, and Fidel Castro, as well as the “poverty, starvation, migration, systemic lethal violence, and suppression of speech” that they faced in the Soviet Union, China, and Cuba, respectively.
DeSantis screamed at kids wearing T-shirts that he said were naïve to what communism represented, mispronouncing the revolutionary leader Che Guevara’s name as “Che Kay-Farra.”
“You can see students flying the hammer and sickle from the former Soviet Union flag on a college campus, students wearing T-shirts with Che Guevara on them, students idolizing people like Mao Zedong,” he remarked.
“To me, this demonstrates a profound misunderstanding of what those folks represented and the horrors that communism imposed on people all over the world.” While it may be popular in some quarters to airbrush communism’s history, Florida will stand for the truth and remain a beacon of liberty.”
According to DeSantis’s recently adopted Stop Woke Act, educators in Florida are prohibited from educating kids about racial issues, including the history of slavery, if it makes them “feel uncomfortable.”
In recent months, DeSantis, a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, has waged a campaign in Florida’s schools and workplaces against supposed “weakness” and “transgender ideology.”
He’s at odds with Disney after the state’s largest private company opposed the so-called “don’t say gay” rule, which prohibits “inappropriate” classroom discussions of LGBTQ+ topics and is being challenged in court.
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The governor, who is running for re-election in November, has signed a number of other pro-Republican measures, including a 15-week abortion restriction and a “racist” redrawing of Florida’s congressional lines, which critics claim denies Black people representation.
Detractors of DeSantis believe that the governor has focused on culture war concerns while ignoring the state’s fundamental problems, such as rising rents that worsen racial inequity.
“How come we can’t concentrate for even a second on what affects people on a daily basis?” Equality Florida’s press secretary, Brandon Wolf, stated in a tweet.
The move was applauded by Jeanette Nunez, Florida’s lieutenant governor and the daughter of Cuban immigrants, as part of DeSantis’s efforts to eliminate critical race theory from classrooms, despite the fact that it is not taught there.
“We will always ensure that our pupils receive the greatest education possible, devoid of communist beliefs, CRT, and woke words,” she stated.