Second House panel OKs bill requiring K-12 schools to teach history of communism
The week-long civics lesson includes a speech from Gov. DeSantis.

Florida State Capitol Building
The measure has 1 more stop remaining.

A House subcommittee advanced a bill that would require K-12 students to learn about communism despite objections from Democrats and others against mandating instruction on the polarizing topic that’s become part of the GOP cultural war.

If passed, HB 1349 would require public schools to teach about the communism in grades K-12 starting in the 2026-27 school year. According to staff analysis, students would learn about the movement’s history, foreign atrocities committed by communists, cultural Marxism and more.

Rep. James Buchanan, the Republican from Sarasota County’s Osprey who co-sponsored the bill, said the idea came from a constituent, whom he did not name. Buchanan compared his bill’s framework to other bills done for Holocaust and Black history education.

Fighting cultural Marxism has been an issue taken up by conservatives as part of the ongoing cultural wars. The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, took aim at K-12 schools and higher education in its 2022 report warning how cultural Marxism threatens the United States.

Speaking Tuesday at the House PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee meeting was John Labriola with the Christian Family Coalition. He argued in support of the bill, saying children need to understand that communism “is a godless, tyrannical, murderous system that has killed tens of millions.”

He also said he tied communism with critical race theory and the LGBTQ community, two issues targeted by Republican lawmakers.

“The American iteration of communism has been the cultural Marxism, and it’s been manifested in things like the critical race theory, using the victim oppressor narratives, as well as the sexual orientation agendas of the LGBT movement, using things like gender identity,” he said Tuesday before asking for bipartisan support for the bill during the meeting. HB 1349 passed 10-2.

Other lawmakers and advocates argued the state has more pressing issues to focus on than teaching the history of communism, such as students who can’t read on grade level.

“If you wrongly pass this, I hoped that the issue of censorship and banning books in the communist nations would also be part of this curriculum,” said Julie Meadows-Keefe, who spoke on behalf of Florida Moms for Accurate Education and took a dig on Florida’s laws that make it easier for parents to push back on books they didn’t like on the shelves.

The bill won other Republicans’ support.

“I believe it’s never too early to teach our children the atrocities of communism,” said Rep. Alina Garcia, a Miami Republican who was born in Cuba. “When we don’t learn from our history, we are destined to repeat it.”

GOP Rep. Vicki Lopez said she remembered studying Marxism, communism and the Joseph McCarthy era when she went to school.

“I didn’t think it was unusual. It wasn’t divisive. I’m curious to how we got away from it, quite frankly,” the Republican from Coral Gables said. “It’s part of world history.”

The legislation has one more stop in front of the House Education & Employment Committee. A companion bill (SB 1264) sponsored by Republican Sen. Jay Collins is in its second of three committee stops.

Gabrielle Russon

Gabrielle Russon is an award-winning journalist based in Orlando. She covered the business of theme parks for the Orlando Sentinel. Her previous newspaper stops include the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Toledo Blade, Kalamazoo Gazette and Elkhart Truth as well as an internship covering the nation’s capital for the Chicago Tribune. For fun, she runs marathons. She gets her training from chasing a toddler around. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @GabrielleRusson .


  • TJC

    February 13, 2024 at 4:08 pm

    “When we don’t learn from our history, we are destined to repeat it.” Says Cuban born Alina Garcia. Which begs the question, What have we learned about our Cuba policy? Aren’t we repeating the same mistakes we started in the sixties? Have we made any progress? Are the people of Cuba better off, or are they still stuck under Communism on an impoverished island. What do we teach the kids about that history — that we’re okay to repeat it with Cuba? Good luck with that lesson.
    Here’s another idea for the Tallahassee Historians to mull over for the classroom:
    How about teaching Florida’s kids about the history of Homeowner’s Insurance in Florida. Explain how we pay more for our insurance than any other state in the country. Tell them how G.O.P. legislators blame it on hurricanes, as if Texas, Louisiana, and Alabama don’t get hurricanes.
    Maybe the kids will come up with the solution. And maybe they’ll recognize a bunch of blowhards in Tallahassee for what they are.

  • Dont Say FLA

    February 13, 2024 at 4:09 pm

    There were no black Communists? Huh. Who knew?

  • Julia

    February 13, 2024 at 5:57 pm

    600 USD Dollard Every day. there are more people interested in working from home. Either they want a better work-life balance or they want to start their own business to increase their earning potential. In this article, we explore a list of possible incomes that can be vc03 made from home.
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  • Communism LOL

    February 13, 2024 at 6:31 pm

    Will they feature the fascists attempting to take over our country? The insurrectionists that attacked Jan. 6 and continue to attack all government institutions. ? The lead attack on our constitution that wants complete immunity who has been convicted of Rape and Fraud but continues to be enabled by the MAGA GOP??? Fascism,, Authoritarians, Oligarchs, Bros with Putin?? They want to teach about Communism? Teach about HITLER and Trump using his tactics.

Comments are closed.


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