"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," DeSantis (pictured) stated during a recent press conference. "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."
Raising assets to society – not menaces to society …
DeSantis reminded America of the importance of raising its students in a way that grounds them in the virtues and values upon which the country was founded – based on the U.S. Constitution that is rooted in biblical principles.
"It's crucial to ensure that we teach our students how to be responsible citizens," the Republican governor stressed. "They need to have a good working knowledge of American history, American government and the principles that underline our Constitution and Bill of Rights."
While impressing how students must be instructed through constructive civics education, DeSantis also indicated that they must learn about the evils and oppressive abuse that socialist, communist or Marxist regimes inflict on their subjects.
"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," he continued.
"We want all students to understand the difference: Why would somebody flee across shark-infested waters, say, leaving from Cuba to come to southern Florida? Why would somebody leave a place like Vietnam? Why would people leave these countries and risk their lives to be able to come here? It's important students understand that."
Liberty Counsel founder and chairman Mat Staver applauded the governor's stand for American values that were championed by the Founding Fathers and their quest for liberty for all.
"We commend Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida legislators for helping to ensure that students in Florida are learning the foundations and principles that enable Americans to exercise religious freedom and free speech," Staver states in a press release from his Florida-based legal group. "Communism and oppressive regimes are un-American and the antithesis to freedom."
Three bills for the children, for the country
Each of the three bills signed by DeSantis works toward bringing up children and young adults to be contributing and responsible members of society based in the freedoms and virtues declared since the nation's founding.
"HB 5 requires the Florida Department of Education to create an integrated K–12 civic education curriculum that includes an understanding of citizens' shared rights and responsibilities under the Constitution and Bill of Rights," Liberty Counsel explains. "It also requires public K–12 schools to teach students about communism, totalitarianism and other political systems that 'conflict with the principles of freedom and democracy essential to the founding principles of the United States.'"
A library of "Portraits of Patriotism" is also included in HR 5, which explores the personal accounts "real patriots" – diverse heroes who have fled from oppressive regimes and displayed civic-minded virtues while fighting through hardships endured when living in communist countries such as Cuba and Venezuela and other dictatorships.
The second bill (HB 233) focuses on protecting undergraduates' constitutional rights that allow them to think for themselves – not as a group that is indoctrinated to ascribe to the dominant campus politics promoted by the educational system.
"[HB 233 will help protect students' free speech and require that all state colleges and universities] conduct annual assessments of the viewpoint diversity and intellectual freedom at their institutions to ensure that Florida's postsecondary students will be shown diverse ideas and opinions – including those that they may disagree with or find uncomfortable," the bill reads.
Lastly, SB 1108 makes it a graduation requirement for students at state colleges and state universities to take a civic literacy course and assessment, which bridges the civics education learned in high school and postsecondary institutions.
"If a high school student passes the test, that student is exempted from the postsecondary test requirement," Liberty Counsel notes regarding SB 1108. "This bill also expands the character development curriculum for high school juniors and seniors to include instructions on how to register to vote."