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Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoes participatory civics curriculum shortly after mandating conservative talking points in public schools

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2021 at 11:13 AM

  • photo courtesy Governor's Press Office

Shortly after mandating that Florida public schools teach about the "evils of communism" in their civics courses, Florida governor Ron DeSantis vetoed a bill that would have created a participatory civics curriculum, encouraging students to get involved in local politics.

Florida Senate Bill 146 would have required civics education in Florida high schools and created an option for school districts to create a "civic literacy project." This project would ask high schoolers to uncover a problem in their community, research solutions and create a plan to possibly remedy the issue.

In the letter explaining his veto, DeSantis pulled out one of those phrases that sound totally fine unless you're ensconced in the right-wing paranoia-sphere. He accused the bill of promoting "action civics" —  that is to say "a civics education that encourages participation in our democracy" — and used that as his basis for rejecting the bill that was universally supported by the Florida legislature.

Earlier this month, DeSantis passed a bill that would require schools to teach about patriotic Americans and avoid critical discussions of race in the history classroom. In addition to these "moments of patriotism," Florida public schools will be required to teach “a comparative discussion of political ideologies, such as communism and totalitarianism, that conflict with the principles of freedom and democracy essential to the founding principles of the United States.”

What the two actions amount to is a feeding tube of Republican orthodoxy for Florida's schoolchildren, effectively barring educators from encouraging students to reach their own conclusions and formulate their own politics. But hey, if you aren't being forced to respect the United States of America, can you really call yourself free?

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