Florida Rep. Maria Salazar and a group of Republican lawmakers introduced legislation Thursday that would encourage high schools nationwide to teach the history of communism.
The “Crucial Communism Teaching Act” would require high schools to teach students about the history of communism and has 60 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives.
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At a press conference on Capitol Hill Thursday announcing the bill, Salazar, the daughter of Cuban immigrants, said that the nation has to “educate our students ... about the true meaning of communism.”
“Unfortunately today, we’re seeing an alarming shift in our national conscience,” Salazar said. “One-third of Gen Z ... have a favorable view of communism, 33%. And over 40% of millennials ... say they don’t know much about Marxism or what it looks like."
Salazar, who represents a Miami-area district with a large Cuban population, was joined by a number of the bill’s co-sponsors, including Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw, New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew, and Iowa Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks.
Also present was Andrew Bremberg, the president and CEO of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, who noted that the “majority of young Americans simply do not know the history of communist regimes.”
“They don’t know the simple fact that 100 million people have been victims of communism or know about the destruction and deaths it has wrought,” Bremberg said.
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The bill follows efforts at the state level in Florida, where Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed legislation requiring the history of communism to be taught in the state’s public high schools.
A spokesperson for Salazar clarified late Thursday that the bill would not mandate that the history of communism be taught but instead "builds a curriculum and provides materials through the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation for states and local educators to use."
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article suggested that the bill is a mandate for high schools to teach the history of communism. It has been updated to clarify that the bill only encourages doing so. The Washington Examiner regrets the error.