DeSantis signs education reform bills, vows Florida students will be taught communism is evil

New laws include one to protect free speech on campuses often viewed as friendly to conservatives.

Updated: June 23, 2021 - 6:53am

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis vowed to ensure his state’s students will be taught that communism is evil, as he signed several education reform bills that expand civics lessons and ban “intellectually oppressive” environments at state universities often deemed unfriendly to conservatives.

DeSantis told a news conference Tuesday that students will be taught that communist and oppressive regimes are evil.

“Why would somebody flee across shark infested waters, say leaving from Cuba, to come to southern Florida? Why would somebody leave a place like Vietnam? Why would people leave these countries and risk their life to be able to come here? DeSantis said. ”It’s important that students understand that.”

In a separate tweet, DeSantis suggested that the civics curriculum would embrace patriotism.

“FL students will learn about patriots who come to America after fleeing communist regimes. Our students will learn from an integrated civic education curriculum that compares our rights & freedoms to places where they don’t exist like China & North Korea.

One of the bills the Florida governor signed protects free speech at state universities by banning schools from censoring ideas and opinions “they may find uncomfortable, unwelcome, disagreeable, or offensive.” 

“It used be thought that a university campus was a place where you’d be exposed to a lot of different ideas. Unfortunately now, the norm is really these are more intellectually repressive environments,” DeSantis said. “You have orthodoxies that are promoted and other viewpoints are shunned, or even suppressed. We don’t want that in Florida.”

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