Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed three civics education bills Tuesday, including HB 5, which requires high school students to learn about “communism and totalitarianism,” ideologies that “conflict with the principles of freedom and democracy essential to the founding principles of the United States.”
“It’s crucial to ensure that we teach our students how to be responsible citizens,” DeSantis said during a press conference at a Fort Myers middle school, reported News4Jax. “They need to have a good working knowledge of American history, American government and the principles that underline our Constitution and Bill of Rights.”
“I’m proud to sign three bills today that prioritize civics education in our schools,” DeSantis said in a press statement, adding:
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.
HB 5 also provides a library of “Portraits in Patriotism” based on the lives of individuals who have represented civic-minded qualities, including some who have moved to this country after suffering persecution in nations such as Cuba and Venezuela.