Gov. Ron DeSantis Says Florida Will Require Schools To Teach Kids About 'Evils Of Communism'

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a press conference.
Gettyimages | Joe Raedle
US Politics

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday that his state will require schools to teach children about "the evils of communism and totalitarian ideologies."

At a press conference in Fort Meyers, DeSantis unveiled a series of new state programs for students that will also require cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training, civics and patriotism education, as reported by Fox News.

The governor's other bills will target universities and require institutions of higher education to respect the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, allowing for free speech and intellectual freedom.

Watch The Press Conference Below

Speaking before a group of reporters, DeSantis said that it is imperative children learn about "the evils of communism and totalitarian ideologies."

"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," the governor stated.

"We want all students to understand…why would somebody flee across shark-infested waters…to come to southern Florida? Why would somebody leave a place like Vietnam? Why would be people leave these countries to risk their lives to be able to come here."

Universities, Campuses

DeSantis described campuses as "repressive environments," announcing a bill that will force universities in Florida to conduct annual reviews on their "intellectual freedom and diversity of thought."

"You have orthodoxies that are promoted, and other viewpoints are shunned or even suppressed," DeSantis said, noting that "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," he added.

In addition, the governor signed a bill that will require students at public colleges and universities to pass a civics literacy course.

Governor DeSantis Press Conference

LIVE NOW: Governor DeSantis is holding a press conference at 2 p.m. at Three Oaks Middle School in Fort Myers.

Posted by NBC2 News on Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Ana Bouza

A Florida woman named Ana Bouza also spoke at DeSantis' press conference.

Bouza detailed how she fled Nicaragua when she was only 16 to escape the "Leninist-Marxist regime." She moved to Venezuela, but then immigrated to the U.S. when socialists took over the Venezuelan government.

Bouza claimed that hearing her granddaughter say that socialism is  not "that bad" broke her heart and said that she is "thankful" to be in America.

"I would defend this country with my life if I had to," she said.

Critical Race Theory

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis delivers a speech.
Gettyimages | Joe Raedle

DeSantis' announcement comes just days after the Florida Board of Education's approved an amendment banning Critical Race Theory, an academic framework that examines systematic racism.

As CNN reported, the amendment states it is forbidden to teach children that "racism is embedded in American society and its legal systems."

States and boards of education across the U.S. have done the same, describing Critical Race Theory as indoctrination. 

DeSantis' popularity has steadily increased. In a 2024 election straw poll that was conducted last weekend at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, the governor came in ahead of former President Donald Trump.