“Victims of Communism Day” observance advances to full Senate

The legislation singles out a day in memory of the "100 million victims of communism worldwide" and calls for inclusion of lessons on it in high school social studies class.

Students will learn about the “100 million victims of Communism worldwide” for at least 45 minutes every school year, according to a bill that advanced Monday.

Republican Sen. Manny Diaz is sponsoring the legislation (SB 268) that would have high school students start the instruction for the 2023-24 school year. In addition, the legislation calls for the Governor to proclaim Nov. 7 “Victims of Communism Day starting in 2023 and continuing annually thereafter.

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the bill and it will move to the full Senate floor Wednesday.

The day singled out in the legislation falls on the anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, when Vladimir Lenin began a revolt against the ruling Russian government, leading his forces into the Russian capital.

“This bill is to remember and teach our students about the … victims of communism worldwide and the terrible situations that those residents in those (communist) countries have faced,” Diaz told the committee. “It’s important for our students to be aware of that and not repeat the mistakes of other countries.”

Similar legislation (HB 395) that Rep. David Borreo proposed received the unanimous approval of the full House last week. It would affect students taking American government class.

Cuba’s Fidel Castro, Russia’s Lenin and Joseph Stalin, Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro, Cambodia’s Pol Pot, and China’s Mao Zedong are the figures mentioned in the legislation that aims to ensure students learn, “how victims suffered under these regimes through poverty, starvation, migration, systemic lethal violence, and suppression of speech.”

Susan Arcticker, the only speaker on the bill, said she would rather see students learning about the dangers of “totalitarian regimes.” This bill on victims of communism, she said, “moves the narrative away from the true dangers faced in our country.”

“The true dangers facing our country are the attempt at silencing the voice of the people by voters suppression laws and attacks on teaching the facts of history,” she said.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


  • Lynda

    March 1, 2022 at 9:17 am

    I agree with changing the course name to “Victims of Totalitarian Governments”. Communist governments are just one section of governments which call themselves “Free States” or Peoples Republic”. It is not the name of governments which do not allow their people human rights, it is the actions.

    Too many trumpests are praising a so-called Russian Communist Dictator, Putin. Remember in November voting which candidates praised Putin for his actions in Ukraine and dismissed President Biden’s sanctions and diplomacy approach. These war hawks refuse to recognize non- military attacks as strong and legitimate ways to save the lives of innocent residents,.

  • Emmit

    March 1, 2022 at 1:33 pm

    We should also have a day to give recognition to the “Victims of Capitalism”.

Comments are closed.


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