Florida Republicans Want to Teach About Communism in Kindergarten

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Florida Republicans Want to Teach About Communism in Kindergarten

Florida Republicans are attempting to introduce a bill that would teach children as young as kindergarten age about the “threat of communism.”

A summary of House Bill 1349 says children will be taught about the history of communism in the U.S., atrocities committed in foreign countries under communism and the “increasing threat of Communism in the 20th century to the United States and our allies.”

A Communism History Task Force would be set up to put together a curriculum for teaching communist history in schools. The board would be appointed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

On February 13, the PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee in the Florida House advanced the bill in a 10-2 vote along party lines.

Joseph Stalin
Russian Communist Party supporters attend a memorial ceremony to mark the 142nd anniversary of late Soviet leader Joseph Stalin’s birth at Red Square in Moscow on December 21, 2021. A proposed bill in Florida seeks…

DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP via Getty Images

Florida Republicans and DeSantis have already signaled intent in introducing legislation centered around a particular perception of communism in Florida schools.

A Victims of Communism Day was signed into law in 2022 to be observed in schools on November 7 each year, along with at least 45 minutes of instruction for high school students on the same day.

The original bill text for HB 1349 proposed children be taught about “the philosophy and lineages of Communist thought, including cultural Marxism.” It was amended to say: “The philosophy and lineages of Communist thought,” by Republican state Representative Chuck Brannan, one of the bill’s co-sponsors.

In the PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee, Brannan said the bill “aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of communism’s impact” in order to talk about its “role in victimizing, torturing, murdering and displacing millions of people in the past century.”

Brannan added that the purpose was not “indoctrination or fear-mongering.”

Representative Alina Garcia said it is “never too early to teach our children the atrocities of communism.” She added: “God forbid, if this country ever falls into the hands of communism.”

John Labriola, a representative of Christian Family Coalition (CFC) Florida, said the American equivalent of communism was cultural Marxism. CFC says it is a human rights and social justice advocacy organization fighting for faith, family and freedom.

“It’s been manifested in things like the critical race theory, using the victim oppressor narratives, as well as the sexual orientation agendas of the LGBT movement, using things like gender identity,” he said.

The bill’s opponents have cited censorship as a potential problem with the legislation.

“If you wrongly pass this, I hoped that the issue of censorship and banning books in the communist nations would also be part of this curriculum,” said Julie Meadows-Keefe of Florida Moms for Accurate Education, alluding to Florida’s so-called “book bans.”

Laws in Florida have been enacted to ban children from being taught about sexual orientation or gender identity until fourth grade and teachers cannot talk about race-based advantages or disadvantages. Schools must also catalog all books in their possession, while teachers who violate the rule face career-threatening ramifications.

“If we’re going to present this curriculum, I would hope that it would be balanced,” Meadows-Keefe said, pointing toward also teaching about the history of the McCarthy era in the U.S., the political repression of left-wing Americans during the early years of the Cold War.

Democratic state Representative Patricia Williams, one of the bill’s two no votes in the subcommittee hearing, said proponents of the bill want to divide students in the classroom.

Newsweek approached Brannan for comment.

If the bill passes, the changes will be implemented for the 2026-2027 school year.

A similar bill has been proposed in the state Senate. In the original bill text, “the Third Reich of Nazi Germany” was included as one of the “foreign communist movements” but was amended and replaced by “Marxism-Leninism and the Russian Revolution of 1917.”

A companion bill, SB 1264, is awaiting a hearing by the state Senate Education Appropriations Committee.

Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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