Ron DeSantis Establishes 'Victims of Communism Day' Holiday Amid CRT Fight

Florida's Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has signed legislation enacting a new state holiday while announcing a mandate requiring public school students to learn about the "atrocities" imposed by communist regimes.

DeSantis signed House Bill 395, prompting the state of Florida to now recognize November 7 as 'Victims of Communism Day.' The bill comes as lawmakers continue other efforts to combat critical race theory (CRT) in schools.

The new law went into effect immediately and was described by DeSantis as a day to honor the "hundreds of millions of people who have suffered under communist regimes across the world."

"Honoring the people that have fallen victim to communist regimes and teaching our students about those atrocities is the best way to ensure that history does not repeat itself," DeSantis said in a statement. "Through HB 395 and the funding announced today, we are guaranteeing that the history of those who fled communist regimes and their experiences are preserved and not forgotten by our students. While it's fashionable in some circles to whitewash the history of communism, Florida will stand for truth and remain as a beachhead for freedom."

DeSantis
Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis announced November 7 as "Victims of Communism Day," a new state holiday launched in his push for public school students to learn about the "atrocities" of communism. Above, DeSantis is seen during the UFC 273 event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on April 9, 2022, in Jacksonville, Florida. Getty Images

Under the new law, all public schools will be required to observe the day. High school students will receive at least a 45-minute lesson in their United States Government class related to communist regimes and how "victims suffered." Instruction on communist topics will be required starting in the 2023-2024 school year.

Florida Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez said at a news conference Monday that the bill is part of a statewide push to end CRT in classrooms.

"By the actions we're taking today, along with action we've already taken like removing critical race theory, 'woke' ideologies from our classrooms, we're ensuring that parents have the right to make decisions for their children," Nuñez said.

In April, DeSantis signed a bill called the "Individual Freedom" measure, banning CRT in schools to prevent students from feeling "guilt" and "anguish" for the past actions of other members of their race. The bill also revised the requirement for instruction on the history of slavery and Blacks.

CRT says U.S. social institutions including the criminal justice and healthcare systems are "laced with racism embedded in laws, regulations, rules, and procedures that lead to differential outcomes by race," according to The Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, D.C.

"We will always ensure that our students are getting the best education free of socialist ideologies, and critical race theory and woke terms that we will not allow," Nuñez said.

Newsweek reached out to DeSantis for comment.