Florida Schools to Teach about Communism’s Evils
WASHINGTON D.C.— All Florida schools will now teach their students about the crimes of communist regimes thanks to a bill passed today by the Florida Senate.
The legislation, which was championed by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) and passed in the Florida House of Representatives on April 2, requires schools to include in their curriculum a comparative discussion of the political ideologies of communism and totalitarianism with the principles of freedom and democracy essential to the founding principles of the United States.
As a result of the legislation, Florida social studies high school graduation requirements for US Government credit “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 Department of Education to develop or approve an integrated civic education curriculum that school districts and charter schools must incorporate as part of regular schoolwork in K-12, including a “Portraits in Patriotism” video library that would house first-person accounts of victims who lived under 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 Florida 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 Florida 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 and 40% of Americans today have a favorable view of socialism.”
On March 4, at a press conference organized by VOC at the Florida State Capitol about this legislation, Florida House of Representatives Speaker Chris Sprowls stated: “The best defense against communism is for us to learn from those who experienced its oppression firsthand. That’s why highlighting these stories of freedom will play such an important role in civics education in Florida.”
At the press conference, VOC also brought together valiant champions of freedom from Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela to advocate for this legislation and to share their powerful personal stories of the torture and human rights abuses they have suffered at the hands of these regimes. Their eyewitness testimonies are a compelling reminder of the need to educate and alert America’s young people at schools in Florida and across the country.
To date, 13 states have introduced or passed a bill recognizing November 7 as Victims of Communism Memorial Day; however, Florida has become the first state to pass a bill requiring K-12 student education on the crimes of communism. VOC encourages all other states across the country to follow suit by also passing this legislation.
In addition to fostering the truthful education of communism for students, VOC is equipping hundreds of teachers across the country with our curricular supplement. The third edition of this free resource was recently released and can be downloaded here.
For information about VOC’s other educational programs, visit victimsofcommunism.org.
The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) is an educational, research, and human rights bipartisan nonprofit devoted to commemorating the more than 100 million victims of communism around the world and to pursuing the freedom of the more than 1.5 billion people still living under communist regimes.