DeSantis Signs Three Bills into Law

From left, state Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, Gov. Ron DeSantis and House Speaker Chris Sprowls display the education bills signed Thursday at Hillsborough Community College’s Dale Mabry campus. [ DIVYA KUMAR | Times ]

“Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed three bills into law Tuesday that boosted civics education in the public school system and specifically teaches students the horrors of communism. ‘The sad reality is that only two in five Americans can correctly name the three branches of government, and more than a third of Americans cannot name any of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment,’ DeSantis said. ‘It is abundantly clear that we need to do a much better job of educating our students in civics to prepare them for the rest of their lives. The bill also expands our previous efforts in civics to add a requirement for the high school government class that students receive instruction on the evils of communism and totalitarian etiologies,’ DeSantis said. ‘We have a number of people in Florida, particularly southern Florida, who’ve escaped totalitarian regimes, who’ve escaped communist dictatorships to be able to come to America. We want all students to understand the difference, why would somebody flee across shark infested waters say, leaving from Cuba to come to southern Florida?’ The bills that DeSantis signed into law are the following: House Bill 5 requires the Florida Department of Education to create an integrated K-12 civic education curriculum that includes an understanding of citizens’ shared rights and responsibilities under the Constitution and Bill of Rights. It further expands required instruction in high school to include a comparative discussion of political ideologies that conflict with the principles of freedom and democracy essential to the founding principles of the United States, such as communism and totalitarianism. Senate Bill 1108 requires state college and state university students to take both a civic literacy course and a civic literacy assessment as a graduation requirement, bridging civics education between our high schools and postsecondary institutions.” House Bill 233 prohibits the governing boards of colleges and universities from shielding “students, faculty, or staff at state universities from free speech protected under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.”

“DeSantis Signs Law,” The Daily Wire, June 22, 2021