The governor of Florida, who had announced in his speech at the Freedom and Faith Conference that he would be taking action to improve the civic education of young people, signed into law Tuesday, June 22, a bill for schools to help students better understand the principles on which the United States was founded and why totalitarian ideologies like communism conflict with the freedom Americans enjoy.
“Today, I signed HB 5 alongside Ana Abaunza, who escaped socialist regimes. Her story spotlights the necessity of teaching our youth why we have and will continue to fight for freedom,” DeSantis said at a press conference at Three Oaks High School in Fort Myers.
“They need to have a good working knowledge of American history, American government and the principles that underline our Constitution and Bill of Rights,” he added.
In his speech at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s conservative conference, DeSantis had previewed his intention to take concrete actions to improve civic education for young people.
“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. 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 Republican said.
The governor’s move responds, according to his statements throughout his administration, to the decline of public education, particularly the critical race theory approach that teaches young people to judge others based on race, and particularly emphasizes the ‘victim theory’ that argues that the white race victimizes the black race and that the United States is a systematically racist country.
Because of the infiltration of these ideas into schools and universities, Marxist movements such as Antifa and Black Lives Matter have proliferated among American youth.
These groups in turn enjoy the support of mainstream media, mainstream social media and leftist politicians sympathetic to their cause.
“You have orthodoxies that are promoted, and other viewpoints are shunned or even suppressed. We don’t want that in Florida, you need to have a true contest of ideas, students should not be shielded from ideas, and we want robust First Amendment speech on our college and university campuses”,” the governor said.
Last week, DeSantis approved a Florida School Board proposal banning the teaching of race theory in his state.
“Some of this stuff is, I think, really toxic,” DeSantis said to the school board. “I think it’s going to cause a lot of divisions. I think it’ll cause people to think of themselves more as a member of a particular race based on skin color, rather than based on the content of their character and based on their hard work and what they’re trying to accomplish in life.”
HB5, along with two other pieces of legislation signed Tuesday, also aims to reinforce the idea of working hard to earn a living, becoming responsible adults in society, a principle that perhaps responds to the Republican idea of not relying on the state.
The virtues of the United States
Based on the Bill of Rights, the United States was founded on the idea that the government was only chosen to make sure people had their rights granted. The First Amendment bans the government from censoring people’s freedom of speech in its various forms.
With the Second Amendment Americans make sure that, should the government become tyrannical, they have the means to defend themselves.
Nowadays, not only countries that have openly totalitarian Communist regimes like China, North Korea, Vietnam, and Cuba, but also many countries in South America and Europe, live under a quasi-socialist system of government: high taxes, huge government intervention in peoples’ lives and no chance to stand up against the tyranny of the state apparatus as people there are disarmed by design.
However, some states in the United States have begun to walk towards socialism under Democrat’s so-called progressive policies. Thus, DeSantis, like Trump, did in his time, are outstanding in their opposition to the left’s agenda.
In November 2020, former President Donald Trump signed an executive order creating a commission of educators tasked with advising the president on how he could educate students about the country’s founding principles and celebrate the Declaration of Independence. Trump called it “patriot education.” Unfortunately, unable to assume his second term, the project did not materialize.