Communism history classes are coming to Florida K-12 schools

DeSantis via EOG
Mao Tse-Tung and Joseph Stalin will be introduced to Sunshine State students in the coming years.

The wrongs committed by the Soviets, the Chinese and other communist regimes will be discussion fodder for students in the Sunshine State going forward.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed off on SB 1264, a “History of Communism” bill that got just seven “no” votes in the Senate and in the House, as it passed with bipartisan enthusiasm.

The location and timing of the signing was no coincidence: the Hialeah Gardens Museum.

The facility honors the 2506 Assault Brigade during the Bay of Pigs Invasion, a group of anti-Fidel Castro fighters who were imprisoned for 20 months by the Cuban communist regime at the height of Cold War tensions.

DeSantis noted that Wednesday was the 63rd anniversary of the Bay of Pigs, which he called a “noble cause” that resisted the “tyranny” Cubans have faced for at least that long.

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.

DeSantis said discussion of the “evils of communism” has faded over time, contending that “apologists for communism in our society” abound, especially in academia.

“We’re going to tell the truth about the evils of communism, about the unprecedented death toll at the hands of communist tyranny,” the Governor promised, citing 100 million casualties over the decades.

A history of communism in the United States as well as a study of “tactics used” by communist activists will also be included, DeSantis said, as part of the “proper foundation” to be set up by the “truth” about the ideology in Florida education.

Education Commissioner Manny Diaz lauded the legislation, noting that it will help people across the state understand “the evils and the perils” of communism, and make sure history does not repeat when it comes to the “devil that is communism,” with “age-appropriate” inculcation into “the truth” that expands “Florida’s moral legacy” regarding the ideology.

Diaz promised to “penetrate” higher education with Florida’s official version of events as well.

To that end, the bill compels the creation of a museum of history of communism, creates the Institute for Freedom in Americas at Miami Dade College, and renames the Adam Smith Center for Study of Economic Freedom as the Adam Smith Center for Economic Freedom.

There is a key party split on this concept 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.

While many details remain to be worked out, what’s clear is that students who may have had a dim idea about the tensions of the Cold War and the ideological divides of the time will get an idea about what worked their parents and grandparents up many decades ago.

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


59 comments

  • tom palmer

    April 17, 2024 at 10:45 am

    back to the future. we had those classes back in the 1960s during the heyday of the John Birch Society. Now we Qanon and their sympathizers.

    • MH/Duuuval

      April 17, 2024 at 11:14 pm

      Mr. and Mrs. Cord Byrd are Qs.

  • Chuck Shad

    April 17, 2024 at 11:07 am

    Just wonder why there is no required “ History of Fascism “ ? I guess the gov and legislature figure it’s ok . Curious- unless you happen to be MAGA .

  • Tom

    April 17, 2024 at 12:19 pm

    “枪杆子里面出政权” — Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun – Mao Zedong.
    Good old communism – just what Florida needs. We’ll just skip fascism and cut right to the chase.

    • rick whitaker

      April 17, 2024 at 1:17 pm

      TOM, who the hell is mao zedong?

      • Tom

        April 17, 2024 at 2:14 pm

        Try google – maybe we do need to study history in school again.
        Mao Zedong[a] (26 December 1893 – 9 September 1976) was a Chinese politician, Marxist theorist, military strategist, poet, and revolutionary who was the founder of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). He led the country from its establishment in 1949 until his death in 1976, while also serving as the chairman of the Chinese Communist Party during that time. His theories, military strategies and policies are known as Maoism.

        • rick whitaker

          April 18, 2024 at 8:49 pm

          i’m a 71 year old history buff. i remember the mao days well.

      • ScienceBLVR

        April 17, 2024 at 4:14 pm

        You say you’ll change the constitution
        Well, you know
        We all wanna change your head
        You tell me it’s the institution
        Well, you know
        You better free your mind instead
        But if you go carryin’ pictures of Chairman Mao
        You ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow

      • tom palmer

        April 17, 2024 at 9:34 pm

        used to be Mao Tse Tung, but transliteration from Chinese into English was modified somewhere along the line. Same with country’s capital, whose Anglicized name has variously been Peking, Peiping, Beiping, Peijing etc. The Chinese were never confused about the proper pronunciation.

        • rick whitaker

          April 18, 2024 at 8:47 pm

          tom, thanks for your knowledge.

  • rick whitaker

    April 17, 2024 at 1:23 pm

    to me , christians have been writing their version of history for 2000 years. they have snuffed out anything that doesn’t fit the desired image of their cult that they PUSH. STILL DOING IT.

    • Maria

      April 19, 2024 at 10:06 pm

      You use a broad brush in your animus for Christians? Our President, Joe Biden, is a man of faith, Christian faith. He and our First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, attend church services frequently as he has since his early days in Scranton, PA, then Delaware. Do you hate him, too? Our nation was founded in part on the principle of religious freedom and tolerance. You don’t seem like a person who believes in tolerance, religious or otherwise. I pray independent voters don’t look to you as an example of a Democrat. Perhaps, you’re not a Democrat. I sure hope so.

  • Dont Say FLA

    April 17, 2024 at 2:12 pm

    It will be such a one sided presentation with such an obvious “Communism is bad” slant that the smarter kids will infer, based on their experiences with all the other “XYZ is bad” lies told to them, that Communism is probably somewhere between “not so bad” and “the ultimate solution to the Capitalism run amok here in USA; Off with the heads of the Capitalist pigs that hold us all down!”

    • rick whitaker

      April 17, 2024 at 2:15 pm

      DSF, pointing to the imaginary boogeyman over and over can wear people out.

  • KathrynA

    April 17, 2024 at 3:40 pm

    And the Right wing seems to love Putin and wants to do nothing to protect Ukraine and Europe from him. Interesting to have this desire to push this and I think it should be a part of history classes, but so should slavery and the racism that still runs rampant.

    • MH/Duuuval

      April 17, 2024 at 7:53 pm

      A better context would be a 20th century world history class. But this is a partisan, ideological gambit: “Diaz promised to “penetrate” higher education with Florida’s official version of events as well.”

      The official version, period.

  • Elmo

    April 17, 2024 at 8:51 pm

    The last thing he will ever have taught is anti-fascism.

    • Richard D

      April 18, 2024 at 1:51 pm

      In the WWII era, many American corporate leaders were pro-Nazi, which is the same as pro-fascist. One significant example was the CEO (Torkild Reiber) of the Rockefeller-owned Texas oil company (subsequently known as Texaco and then Exxon). They supplied most of the oil that Hitler needed to invade the USSR. They also supplied oil to Franco to enable him to overthrow the Spanish Republic. The oil was secretly shipped in ocean-going tankers from refineries in the Houston area. US corporate support of fascism was justified on the grounds of anti-communism, which is the basis of classic fascism.

      • MH/Duuuval

        April 18, 2024 at 11:05 pm

        The anti-immigrant politicians turned away Jewish asylum seekers, even turning around a boatload, forcing them back to Europe and some into death camps.

  • Chris

    April 18, 2024 at 12:56 am

    Florida Politics is crawling with Democrat-party facists.

    • MH/Duuuval

      April 18, 2024 at 1:45 pm

      Unlike the semi-literate MAGAs who wash ashore and who can’t even spell fascist but know what they hate.

    • rick whitaker

      April 18, 2024 at 9:00 pm

      chris, you do realize ” democrat-party fascist ” is a misnomer don’t you? the right-wing maga party is the fascist party. have you looked up the definition of the word fascist? anyway, your comment sounds like that of a white christian maga cultist.

    • Silly Wabbit

      April 21, 2024 at 3:33 pm

      You kwazy.

    • John L

      April 23, 2024 at 9:49 am

      Its been GOP rules with an iron fist for 20 plus years. If you have any issue with Florida state gov’t, you have one party to blame. Dems have zero power.

  • KathrynA

    April 18, 2024 at 9:19 am

    Democrat-party fascists??? Perhaps you need to look at the definition of fascism and Christian nationalism and at the far-right Republicans and for real life examples, look no further than Nazi Germany and its similarities as to what Christian nationalists are pushing here in the US.

    • Jojo

      April 18, 2024 at 5:44 pm

      Amen to that.. so to speak

    • Dont Say FLA

      April 20, 2024 at 7:34 pm

      Tbf, the Nazi Fascists did get themselves voted into power by claiming to be Socialists. They were not Socialists. They were Fascists. But they claimed to be Socialists. So there is precedent, but “in name only,” same as the MAGAs love to say about old skool GOPs, but really it’s the MAGAs that are Republicans in name only. and it’s the “in name only” types you gotta watch out for, no matter which end of the political spectrum they claim to inhabit.

      • Richard D

        April 21, 2024 at 12:30 pm

        There was a socialist section of the Nazi party. It was led by Ernst Rohm. Although a thug, Rohm was an authentic socialist. The party’s socialist orientation disappeared with Rohm’s execution, which was ordered by Hitler who, by that time, was receiving large amounts of money from leaders of Big Business. The party’s name, “National Socialism,” continued, which, to this day, fools many people. After Rohm’s execution, the only “socialism” about Nazism was socialism for Big Business, not for the ordinary people. Socialism for Big Business is called “fascism.”

  • Cheesy Floridian

    April 18, 2024 at 11:40 am

    I think this bill was a waste of time and money. We have sky high home insurance and car insurance. People can’t rebuild after hurricanes. People can’t afford to live in this state. My kids kindergarten homework is about learning to read and write and do simple math. Why does she need to learn about this at all? Does this bill help the average Floridian afford to live here? No. Great job DeSantis you missed the mark again

    • Richard D

      April 18, 2024 at 9:28 pm

      Many Americans are falling on hard times as a consequence of the rising cost of living and the capitalist economy’s downward-trending GDP. Politicians are concerned about the potential consequences of that and maybe that’s why they want to indoctrinate school kids with what is probably more anti-communist propaganda, this time in the guise of a legitimate history course. It’s a way of instilling and reinforcing the belief that the American way of life is far better than communism, regardless of hard times resembling a depression.

      • Cheesy Floridian

        April 19, 2024 at 9:44 am

        I can’t argue against what you are saying. It sounds very much like what is happening in this country right now.

      • rick whitaker

        April 19, 2024 at 7:00 pm

        RICHARD D, get real dude.

    • John L

      April 23, 2024 at 9:52 am

      Lesson from Fascists, USe power to stay in power and brainwash youth. Hitler had youth SS camps that brainwashed the kids. The entire Cuban community thinks the GOP are their friends when really they would deport 90% of them if they could. People who vote against self interest amaze me.

  • Tjb

    April 18, 2024 at 12:16 pm

    When will DeSantis sign a bill requiring the History of Racism in the USA to be taught K thru 12?

    • Michael K

      April 18, 2024 at 4:23 pm

      The new confederacy will permit no such thing. Racism does not exist, now, or ever, in the free-dumb-loving state of Florida.

      /s

  • Jojo

    April 18, 2024 at 5:43 pm

    “ We’re going to teach the truth about communism in Florida “ As opposed to what governor?
    Why don’t you tell your fellow Russians sympathizer republicans who are doing Putin’s bidding by withholding aid to Ukraine all about communism?
    Hypocrites every one of you

    • Cheesy Floridian

      April 19, 2024 at 9:44 am

      His version of the truth. What he wants the truth and history to be. Now what it actually is.

  • Maria Vasquez

    April 18, 2024 at 7:40 pm

    This legislation now law enjoyed overwhelming bipartisan support in the Florida Legislature, including top Democratic lawmakers in the Florida House of Representatives and Senate. Gracias, Florida Democrats!

    • MH/Duuuval

      April 18, 2024 at 11:08 pm

      Not so much among the public, eh?

      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.

  • Ocean Joe

    April 19, 2024 at 4:19 pm

    If communism is such a terrible thing, why does Donald Trump love the Russians so much. It may have originated in Germany, but Russia gave birth to the first communist government and regardless of how the Soviet Union has evolved it remains a super power supportive of fellow communist nations as well as authoritarian and religious dictatorships in Syria and Iran.

    Will we teach our school children that the Soviet Union kept Castro in power all these years and that Trump was OK with Russia interfering in our presidential election as long as it helped him win?

    • Richard D

      April 19, 2024 at 4:44 pm

      Russia is no longer a communist country although it does allow an active communist party to participate in politics (unlike the US). During its communist era, it was known as the Soviet Union or USSR, but in 1991, its communist system fell as a result of a US-instigated “color revolution” or coup d’etat which installed Boris Yeltsin as president. It’s now called the “Russian Federation” and has a thriving capitalistic, neoliberal economy.

      • YOUR POST IS SO OBVIOUSLY A RUSSIAN

        April 19, 2024 at 5:57 pm

        RICHARD D, your post is obviously a pro russian bot.

      • John L

        April 23, 2024 at 9:53 am

        ok Comrad, you and other GOP MAGA people are PUTIN cronies.

  • Maria

    April 19, 2024 at 9:53 pm

    This legislation enjoyed overwhelming bipartisan support, including top Democrats in the Florida House of Representatives and Senate. Thank you, Governor DeSantis! Thank you Florida lawmakers, both Republicans and Democrat.

  • Dont Say FLA

    April 20, 2024 at 7:43 pm

    I do hope equal time is given to all the horrors of Capitalism and Democracy, as inflicted worldwide by the USA.

    Also hop the positives get their due time. After all. Communist China is the other superpower. How’d that happen? probably needs to be addressed.

  • Andrew Finn

    April 20, 2024 at 8:51 pm

    This is not a new concept. I went through the entire twelve years of school here in Florida (1959 – 1971) and I remember us having to take a class called “Americanism vs Communism” back then. It was designed to basically teach that our government was good and Communism was bad. Those of us that actually paid attention, learned that in reality the Communist format of government was pretty good (in and of itself) but only in concept – it will not work well at all in actual application. Wonder how this “new” class will present it ??

    • Dont Say FLA

      April 24, 2024 at 7:49 am

      Probably about the same. And it’ll make sure to pretend Democracy and Capitalism do work. But no, both systems share the same problem. The greediest hay holes find a way to keep all the money for themselves. The nerviest greedy hay holes will even claim that it’s good for everybody to let the rich hay holes keep all the money, making silly promises that it will all trickle down some day, making everybody a rich hay hole if we’ll just keep voting for the Grand Old Ponzi Scheme

  • My Take

    April 20, 2024 at 10:35 pm

    Will we teach how wonderful Batista was?
    And the Mafia corulers ?

  • My Take

    April 20, 2024 at 10:38 pm

    Hitler and Mussolini, so so, not worth discussing.
    Fidel …. BAD BAD BAD!!

  • My Take

    April 21, 2024 at 12:44 am

    Every high school student should be required–as part of American history education– to read US Marine Corps General and Commendant Smedley Butler’s book War Is a Racket.(1933)
    “I was a gangster for capitalism”

    • Richard D

      April 23, 2024 at 10:41 am

      Smedley Butler testified to Congress that a group of American (fascist) business leaders tried to bribe him to get some war veterans together and mobilize them to overthrow the U.S. government. Although this testimony really happened, today it’s usually called a “conspiracy theory.” FDR’s New Deal, mostly pro-labor reforms, had enraged many business leaders, so they wanted a strong man to get rid of FDR, and they chose General Butler as their man to do that. In the following decades, FDR’s New Deal reforms were constantly under attack by the right. Today, they’re mostly eliminated.

  • Andy

    April 21, 2024 at 7:11 am

    Wow. Lots of comments on this curriculum.. when is the governor and legislature going to roll out the Florida economic relief package!!!! Instead of the history of communism!!! Let’s see how that lowers cost for every day working floridians!

  • Michael K

    April 21, 2024 at 11:18 am

    Will they also cover Joe McCarthy’s 1950s Red Scare and Lavender Scare that ruined thousands of American lives and destroyed thousands of careers and families – for nothing more than cheap right-wing political gain? That was a horrible chapter in our history that must be taught to help ensure it will never happen again. Bewarere the Christo-fascists.

  • Dont Say FLA

    April 21, 2024 at 9:24 pm

    Communism would be okay except the problem with Communism is clearly demonstrated right here in Florida. It’s called “insurance.” It alleges to help everyone in need, but actually just a bunch of rich dick holes keep all the money for themselves. Hey that’s exactly the same as Capitalism, isn’t it!

    • Dont Say FLA

      April 21, 2024 at 9:26 pm

      Wait, no. Capitalism claims everyone can help themselves. There’s the difference. The Capitalists don’t even pretend to give AF about the poors.

  • Monday news

    April 22, 2024 at 8:58 pm

    I had ancient history back in the days. It included win dynasty it includes the astrology celebration s
    It included the Greek wars and trogens

  • Karen Strong

    April 24, 2024 at 12:13 am

    It’s a step towards ensuring that future generations are informed about the complexities of history and the lessons it holds.

  • four colors

    April 24, 2024 at 12:14 am

    With bipartisan support, it’s evident that there’s a shared understanding of the importance of teaching the history of communism.

  • Dont Say FLA

    April 24, 2024 at 7:46 am

    Hope they dont forget to cover the Mondragón Corporation in the Basque country of España

    But they’ll “forget”. The curriculum can’t include what works when its intention is to teach that it doesn’t work. IOW, Capitalist indoctrination.

    Demonstrate how Democracy and Capitalism “work” by talking about problems with Communism and Socialism and pretending USA doesn’t have the exact same problems for the exact same reason.

    Reason being, rich hay holes figure out how to take all the money for themselves and then do exactly that to the detriment of everyone else, so they divide everyone else and convince them to finger point at each other.

Comments are closed.


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