Lawmakers debate Tucker Carlson as Senate panel passes communism in schools bill
Historic Florida State Capitol Building with brightly colored striped awnings, classical style dome, and American and Florida State Flags in Tallahassee

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A bill to make students in K-12 public schools learn about communism history advanced Tuesday despite Democrats' concerns.

In a back-and-forth debate fueled down party lines, a Senate committee cleared a bill to require students to learn about communism history in public schools.

Under SB 1264, public schoolchildren would learn about the history of communism starting in the 2026-27 school year. The Florida Department of Education would be required to develop the standards as students learn about communism theories and atrocities. The Departments of State and Education would also recommend whether the state should pursue a museum devoted to communist history.

Republicans argued that young people today don’t understand how dangerous communism is and aren’t informed. The bill could help teach them.

“I’m a dad. I want them to learn the truth,” bill sponsor Jay Collins said during Tuesday’s Senate Fiscal Policy Committee meeting.

Democrats countered that the bill could indoctrinate students and wasn’t needed since students are already learning about communism weaved into world history, American history and economics at school.

Sen. Lori Berman said she worried how the state would handle current events by diving into communism or socialism, especially when the issues prompted extreme division.

“We have a real debate right now in the United States about whether or not Russia is an ally or a foe. Is that something that we were going to be teaching our children?” Berman asked Collins. “We have TV reporters who are in Russia right now reporting what a great place it is. Our children are going to be taught that. How are we going to teach communist history given what’s going on in the world right now?”

“I don’t suspect that will be a topic of discussion, though I am willing to have a beverage and discuss that,” the Tampa Republican responded. “To say that Russia is an ally or an enemy is just not that simple.”

Collins added, “That’s the great thing about history is we have that snapshot looking backwards.”

He said students would be taught age-appropriate lessons as some lawmakers voiced concerns about young children learning the subject matter.

Noting that there were three Senators from Cuban descent in the room, Sen. Ana Maria Rodriguez, argued that schools need to teach the evils of communism.

“This is our story. This what we have gone through,” Rodriguez said. “It is important to tell the story. It’s not just a chapter in history. It’s so much more than that.”

This was the final scheduled stop for the bill in the Senate before heading to the floor. A House companion bill (HB 1349) has made it to that chamber’s floor.

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 .


  • Dont Say FLA

    February 29, 2024 at 9:34 am

    Shouldn’t it be Capitalism’s dangers that are taught? Those dangers are the dangers to brought us here, not Communism’s dangers.

    Actually, the danger are precisely the same between Capitalism and Communism: Rich pricks get enough money to where they can take all the money. It’s same between both systems. It’s happening right now in USA. It’s why MAGA is a movement, however mistaken they might be about whose fault it is, and whoever they think their potential savior might be.

    Hint: Your only savior is you. Anybody else says they’re your savior, they are lying. Unless it’s your mama, and then it’s 50/50 whether she lying.

  • Joe

    March 1, 2024 at 10:40 am

    Ooo-oooh, COMMUNISM! The biggest and scariest of all the boogey-men under cowardly RepubliQans’ beds. Somebody get Jay Collins his blankie and change Ana Maria Rodriguez’s diaper.

  • Dancing Outlawed

    March 4, 2024 at 1:17 pm

    What is there to debate about Tucker Carlson?

    He claims to be a journalist. He went to Russia. And then he came back!

    Journalists don’t come back from Russia. Truth!

Comments are closed.


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