Governor Ron DeSantis Speaks About Communism — Courtesy: Shutterstock — Hunter Crenian
TALLAHASSEE, Fl. – Referring to it as a “blockbuster day for freedom,” Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill that will require Florida public school students to observe “Victims of Communism Day” on Nov. 7 each year.
The new law went into effect immediately. The day is described as being directed toward “honoring the 100 million people who have fallen victim to communist regimes across the globe.”
The law also gives Gov. DeSantis the authority to lengthen observance of the day beyond public institutions, 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.”
The law (HB 395) was signed by DeSantis at the Freedom Tower in Miami, where Cuban refugees who fled from Cuba to South Florida throughout the 1960s were processed as they rolled into 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, high school U.S. government classes will be required to teach a curriculum about various communist regimes throughout history and their leaders. A minimum of 45 minutes of required Victims of Communism Day instruction will be added to the 2023-2024 school year.
The new standards must be adopted by the State Board of Education by April 2023.
The added requirement is a continuation of efforts by lawmakers and DeSantis to condemn communism through education.
DeSantis signed a law last summer that amended high school social studies curriculum to include 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.”
Republican lawmakers accompanied DeSantis at the bill-signing event, including the state’s next education commissioner, Sen. Manny Diaz, Jr., a Hialeah Republican who will take office on 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 on Monday that he has plans to approve $25 million in the state of Florida’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year for tower renovations. DeSantis visited the nearly 100-year-old tower to pitch restoration work on Nov. 15, which Diaz called “our Ellis Island.”
In addition, DeSantis signed a bill (SB 160) that places designation markers on certain Florida roads honoring prominent historical figures, including three named after Cuban people who fought against the brutal Castro regime.
Two Miami-Dade County roads will be designated as “Oswaldo Payá Way” and “Arturo Diaz Artiles Plaza,” while a road in Hillsborough County will be named “Maximino Capdevila Road.”
Capdevila opened the restaurant La Teresita in Tampa.
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