Arizona Schools To Teach About Communism’s Crimes

Arizona is the second state to pass legislation requiring that students be taught about the crimes of communist regimes. The legislation, which was championed by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC), was passed in the Arizona Senate in June and has now been signed into law by the Governor of Arizona.

As a result of the legislation, Arizona social studies high school graduation requirements “must include 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.” The legislation also requires the State Board of Education to establish and maintain a list of oral history resources to be used along with the civic education standards that provide portraits in patriotism based on first-person accounts of victims of other nations governing philosophies who can compare those philosophies with those of the United States.

VOC President and CEO Ambassador Andrew Bremberg commented on the Arizona legislation saying, “Educating people on the crimes of communism is the cornerstone of VOC’s mission. This education is especially crucial for America’s youth during their formative years, so we applaud Arizona for ensuring their students will receive this education. VOC’s most recent poll on US Attitudes Toward Socialism, Communism, and Collectivism further proves the necessity of student education on communism, as only 63% of Gen Z and Millennials believe the Declaration of Independence better ‘guarantees freedom and equality’ over the Communist Manifesto.”

Arizona State Representative Quang Nguyen

Rep. Quang Nguyen, the House sponsor of the bill, said: “Having grown up in Vietnam and survived three communist invasions, I have a deep love and appreciation for the United States and its freedoms, which are guaranteed to all. It’s my intent for Arizona’s students to graduate with a similar appreciation for what it means to be an American. This civics standards update will help ensure that our students are taught the brutal facts of oppressive communist systems and how they are fundamentally antithetical to America’s founding principles.” 

Last year, Florida became the first state to pass this legislation championed by VOC requiring education on the crimes of communist regimes and the stories of those who have resisted communist tyranny, and earlier this year, Florida also enacted legislation establishing November 7 as Victims of Communism Memorial Day, another legislative initiative championed by VOC.

VOC is working with legislators around the country to encourage other states to follow suit in adopting similar legislation to Florida and Arizona. The legislation has also been adopted as model policy by the American Legislative Exchange Council. Additionally, a federal version of the legislation, the Crucial Communism Teaching Act, was introduced by VOC Caucus Member Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar in 2021 with the support of over 60 original cosponsors.

In addition to championing truthful education of communism for students, VOC is equipping hundreds of teachers across the country with our curriculum and sharing the stories of the victims of communism through our Witness Project. These educational resources are available here on VOC’s website.