Florida Republicans Push for Kindergarten Education on Communism

Florida Republicans Want to Teach About Communism in Kindergarten

Florida Republicans are pushing for legislation aimed at educating children, including those as young as kindergarten age, about the “threat of communism.” House Bill 1349, summarized as a curriculum to explore communism’s history in the United States and abroad, as well as its perceived contemporary threat, has garnered attention.

The bill proposes the establishment of a Communism History Task Force tasked with developing a curriculum for teaching communist history in schools. The members of this board would be appointed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. On February 13, the PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee in the Florida House advanced the bill with a 10-2 vote along party lines.

This move isn’t entirely new, as Florida Republicans and Governor DeSantis have previously demonstrated interest in shaping how communism is taught in schools. In 2022, a law was enacted to observe Victims of Communism Day in schools on November 7 annually, accompanied by at least 45 minutes of instruction for high school students.

Originally, HB 1349 included teaching about “the philosophy and lineages of Communist thought, including cultural Marxism,” but this language was later amended to remove the reference to cultural Marxism.

Florida Republicans Want to Teach About Communism in Kindergarten

Republican State Representative Chuck Brannan, one of the bill’s co-sponsors, emphasized that the aim is to provide a comprehensive understanding of communism’s historical impact without intending indoctrination or fear-mongering.

Supporters of the bill argue that educating children about the atrocities of communism is crucial. Representative Alina Garcia stressed the importance of teaching children early about the consequences of communism, expressing concerns about the potential future impact of such ideologies on the country.

Opponents, however, have raised concerns about the potential censorship implications of the legislation. Julie Meadows-Keefe of Florida Moms for Accurate Education highlighted worries about the banning of certain books and materials, similar to practices in communist nations. She urged for a balanced curriculum, suggesting the inclusion of the McCarthy era’s history to provide context.

Democratic State Representative Patricia Williams, one of the two subcommittee members who voted against the bill, criticized its proponents for aiming to create division among students.

If passed, the curriculum changes proposed in HB 1349 would come into effect for the 2026-2027 school year. A similar bill has been introduced in the state Senate, where discussions also center around amendments and fine-tuning of the proposed curriculum.

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