Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed a bill into law that will require high schools to cover the “evils of communism and totalitarian ideologies” in government classes.
The Republican governor told reporters this week that three bills — HB 5, HB 233 and SB 1108 — will spotlight the horrors of communist dictatorships for young minds and inform them as to why people “flee across shark-infested waters” for the U.S.
“We have a number of people in Florida, particularly southern Florida, who’ve escaped totalitarian regimes, who escaped communist dictatorships to be able to come to America,” Mr. DeSantis said Tuesday. “We want all students to understand. Why would somebody flee across shark-infested waters, say, leaving Cuba, to come to southern Florida? Why would somebody leave a place like Vietnam? Why would people leave these countries and risk their life to be able to come here?”
The legislation also prompts the creation of a “Portraits and Patriotism” library on “real patriots” who escaped dictatorships prior to becoming U.S. citizens.
Mr. DeSantis‘s press conference at Three Oaks Middle School in Fort Myers included comments by Anna Bouza, a woman from Nicaragua who fled the Sandinistas.
“You have orthodoxies that are promoted, and other viewpoints are shunned or even suppressed,” the governor said, News-4 Jax reported. “We don’t want that in Florida, you need to have a true contest of ideas, students should not be shielded from ideas and we want robust First Amendment speech on our college and university campuses.”