Legislature passes bill mandating history of communism classes
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 2/7/23-Rep. Chuck Brannan III, R-Macclenny, listens as an unfriendly amendment is introduced for his bill allowing concealed weapons to be carried without a permit to the Constitutional Rights, Rule of Law & Government Operations Subcommittee, Tuesday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. The amendment failed and Brannan’s bill passed the committee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

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The sponsor says this is not 'indoctrination.'

The mistakes made by the Soviets, the Chinese and other communist regimes are one step closer to being part of Florida K-12 classrooms.

The House passed by a 106-7 vote SB 1264, a “History of Communism” product previously passed by a 25-7 vote in the Senate, putting the bill on a path for a Gov. Ron DeSantis signature.

Ahead of the vote, some Democrats sought to knock the bill down, while Republicans and one Democrat loved it up.

Rep. Ashley Gantt raised questions about what would be included, at what point a deep dive into totalitarianism would be “age appropriate,” and why voucher-funded schools are exempted from this requirement.

Rep. Anna Eskamani noted that the Legislature had established bans for discussions of diversity and sociology, and “in the context of what’s happening in K-12 schools,” she claimed the legislation was based on “teaching that a political ideology is bad” rather than a good-faith comparative study of ideologies.

Rep. Bruce Antone, a Democrat, rose in support of the bill until he was reminded he was speaking during the block of time reserved for opposition.

Rep. Chuck Brannan, closing on his bill, said the real purpose was to address concerns of Florida’s “diverse communities” of refugees from communist countries, not to “indoctrinate anybody or promote fear mongering.”

Students in traditional public and charter K-12 schools are on track to receive instruction on the history of communism beginning in the 2026-27 academic year in what is billed as an age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate way.

The bill would also compel the creation of a museum of history of communism, create the Institute for Freedom in Americas at Miami Dade College, and rename the Adam Smith Center for Study of Economic Freedom as the Adam Smith Center for Economic Freedom.

There is a key party split on these bills among actual voters, meanwhile.

Polling conducted by Sachs Media found Republicans were overwhelmingly supportive (74%) of an effort to teach K-12 students about the “horrors of communism.” By comparison, only 41% of Democrats believe kids need a crash course on Soviet genocide.

Ahead of the final passage, Democrats floated amendments the day before to try to expand the bill to include analysis of “McCarthyism” and how the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol Riots could lead to communism, but these did not make the final product.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


16 comments

  • CW

    March 6, 2024 at 2:15 pm

    More than forty years ago my Florida high school history class included a unit called “Americanism vs Communism” Yes I’m that old. By the mid 1980’s if was deemed outdated. This “New”” curriculum seems like a move back to the cold war indoctrination of the 1960’s. Why not make a history courses discuss the pros and cons of all social movements and let students make their own conclusions rather than cow tow to the pressures of fear mongering conservatives once again?

    • My Take

      March 6, 2024 at 4:36 pm

      Americanism vs Communism
      =======
      Taught by the football coach.
      You can imagine the scholarship.

      • MH/Duuuval

        March 6, 2024 at 9:51 pm

        Imagine if a student doesn’t get an A in this course. The horror!

  • Charlotte Greenbarg

    March 6, 2024 at 3:19 pm

    Interesting how a bill like this lets us see who the communists are in the legislature and in this country

    • MH/Duuuval

      March 6, 2024 at 3:27 pm

      Are the communists that you see the ones who are supporting the bill?

  • Americanism vs. Floridanism

    March 6, 2024 at 5:19 pm

    “Americanism” –ie, what makes this country special. Freedom of ideas, competition of ideas, free competition in the marketplace, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, certain inalienable rights of one’s person which include the belief in equal opportunity, innocent unless proven guilty, freedom of the pursuit of happiness, security of property, freedom of self direction, a representative republic with state’s rights and freedom of self-organizing municipalities. The belief that competitive ideas and business and burroughs actually makes this country stronger and builds public trust in our institutions.

    Statism/Communism–the party controls every aspect of government and life, legislates behaviours, picks winners and losers based on what benefits Party control vs. the People, decides who has rights and who doesn’t, institutes laws that make it possible to arrest people without cause, central control of all levels of government, exacting punitive measures against any competition, criminalizing free speech and freedom of expression especially when critical of the Party (state), abuse of authority and direct flouting of previous social norms, rule by fear and oppression, rampant waste, fraud, and abuse of public funds and trust. Decides literally what constitutes “personhood” and the rights that go with that. Oh gosh I’m sure I left some things out.

    Which one sounds more like today’s Florida government?

    • MH/Duuuval

      March 6, 2024 at 9:50 pm

      Rhetorical question much?

    • My Take

      March 7, 2024 at 1:23 am

      Excellent summary!
      And inference.

    • Whoops

      March 11, 2024 at 3:16 am

      “Freedom of ideas, competition of ideas, free competition in the marketplace, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, certain inalienable rights of one’s person which include the belief in equal opportunity, innocent unless proven guilty, freedom of the pursuit of happiness, security of property, freedom of self direction, a representative republic with state’s rights and freedom of self-organizing municipalities.”

      Let me guess — you think the US is the only country that enjoys these freedoms and not just one among many.

      • Americanism vs. Floridanism

        March 18, 2024 at 1:39 pm

        ??? Nope. That wasn’t the point I was trying to make. Since we live here, and the article was about here, my comment was about here. Guess I didn’t explain it well enough.

    • rick whitaker

      March 19, 2024 at 4:27 pm

      sounds like maga cultist are the bad guys, i thought so.

  • KathrynA

    March 6, 2024 at 6:22 pm

    isn’t that the truth and yet we must not talk about real history of the state of Florida including that of Black history.

    • My Take

      March 11, 2024 at 12:14 pm

      Communism must have occasionally taught some usuful job skills. I wonder if they will specifically get mentioned.

  • Mr. Haney

    March 7, 2024 at 7:59 pm

    Republicans are the communists

  • My Take

    March 11, 2024 at 11:40 am

    The chances of having a historically reasonably accurate and objective account is almost nil.

  • JD

    March 14, 2024 at 12:50 pm

    Florida is the our Indoctrination Nation and they’re losing.

    They are going for broke the next 0-2 years because they know they went too far and the FANBUIs that moved here either didn’t find the work they thought they would find and that “afterglow of the Florida sun” is wearing off or they were called back to the motherships in NY and CA where people make real money.

    So the voting block that garnered DickSantis 60% is going to take a BIG hit. Good. Let them all go down in flames, but not before they grift MILLIONS from the tax coffers.

    Florida – where woke goes to die and croynism goes to thrive.

Comments are closed.


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