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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis continues blazing a trail for public education. On Tuesday, DeSantis signed a bill requiring high school students to learn about the “evils of communism and totalitarian ideologies.”

DeSantis said there are a number of people in Florida who have escaped totalitarian regimes and communist dictatorships to be able to come to America.

“We want all students to understand the difference,” DeSantis said. “Why would somebody flee across shark-infested waters? Say leaving from Cuba to come to southern Florida. Why would somebody leave a place like Vietnam? Why would people leave these countries and risk their lives to be able to come here? It’s important that students be able to understand that.”

Florida will create a library for students to learn about “real patriots” who came to America after seeing the “horrors” of communist regimes.

In addition, DeSantis signed a bill that would require state college and university students to take a civic literacy course and a civic literacy assessment as a graduation requirement. Another bill requires colleges and universities to conduct annual assessments on the “intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity” at the institutions.

“It used to be thought that a university campus was a place you’d be exposed to a lot of different ideas,” DeSantis said. “Unfortunately now, the norm is really that these are more intellectually oppressive environments. You have orthodoxies that are promoted, and other viewpoints are shunned or even suppressed. 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.”

Author: Jacob Hall


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