Thank you for returning to Common Sense Civics and Citizenship. Whoever thought that teaching American students about communism would be controversial? Florida is taking the topic head-on. In this week’s newsletter, we address that issue and another hot item- the protests over the leaked draft of the Supreme Court opinion of Roe v. Wade. I’m glad to see the states having the opportunity to do what our Founders intended for our government–federalism. Let’s dive right in with our first article. ____________________________
How interesting that a headline proclaims Florida’s students will now learn about communism one day per school year. It seems like we hear daily about curriculum changes for our young students, but this particular change is creating quite a stir.
Every year, I have my students take a class period to explore what I call “The Dirty Dictators of the Twentieth Century.” The fearful personalities that rang so familiar to me in my younger years are absent in Generation Z and barely present in the minds of Millennials. They have no idea how to pronounce the names of world leaders that were a part of the evening news and dinner table conversation for decades.
Enter Florida. This state has decided to educate students about the victims of communism: how many were killed, starved, enslaved, and economically deprived. The argument against teaching students this information is that it is thought to be “political posturing.” I think Florida has decided to dedicate every November 7 to this task because, in the 1905 words of George Santayana, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” That certainly is the reason why I open a conversation in my classroom about this failed ideology and its leaders.
Lessons in the Constitution mean little unless students learn the value of self-government and compare it to crumbling societies under communist dictatorships. Our American education system has ignored basic American civics and glamorized other failed forms of government. The amazing thing is that supporters of communism strongly believe that it will be correct once the right people are in charge.
Something is seriously wrong in “Glocca Morra.” To clean it up, Florida intends to spend one day shining a light on the issue.
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship.🇺🇸