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With a socialist who praises communism running for president of the United States, it is worth noting that government schools in Florida once taught students about communism – thanks to a Jacksonville legislator.

In 1961, Rep. George B. Stallings, R-Jacksonville, got a bill through the Florida Legislature requiring students to take a course in Americanism vs. Communism. Stallings was a lawyer and B-24 pilot during World War II. He served in the Legislature for 10 years and died at the age of 100 two years ago.

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Rep. Stallings

I knew him slightly. He was very religious, and interested in education. In an interview with The Resident a few years ago he said, “I believe with all that’s going on in schools, particularly the shootings, it’s because education is being demoralized…we’ve forgotten the real purpose. Education involves parents and schools. Children must be taught the difference between right and wrong, starting in the home, and should be backed up by the school.”

In a booklet concerning the new law after it was passed, Thomas Bailey, state superintendent of public instruction, said, “Human freedom has been threatened often before, but never by an enemy with the manpower, the resources, and the technological weapons for waging war that the communists possess. In previous encounters with those who would suppress freedom, our nation has repeatedly demonstrated its faith and courage, faith in our heritage of democratic ideals and courage not merely to praise freedom but also to be free. Each student in our schools must be imbued with a deep sense of responsibility to defend freedom. The schools and the teachers of Florida are deeply dedicated to this task.”

Each school district met the requirement differently. In Jacksonville schools, students got the 30 hours of instruction the law required.

State Rep. Ileana Ros of Miami, who left Cuba in 1960 when she was 7 years old and later operated a private elementary school near Miami, was one of the strongest proponents in the legislature of retaining the course. Liberals in the education establishment and media fought it, and after losing tried for years to get it repealed.

Opponents called the course “government-sponsored propaganda.”

This is a typical media rant against the course from the Orlando Sentinel: Comrade Bob Recalls Communism Lesson. In addition, at least one Florida student has produced a doctoral thesis castigating the course requirement and extolling communism.

State Rep. Walter Young, a Democrat who had been trying since 1974 to kill the requirement, finally got it to a floor vote in the House in 1983, and railed, ”We are using the same tactics as Communist Russia. This course is nothing but sheer Mccarthyism.”

Young’s measure was crushed and the requirement remained, although in many schools it was taught half-heartedly or with tongue in cheek. It was dropped officially in 1991.

Liberals hate capitalism and continually try to convince Americans that socialism in all its forms, including communism, is merely another economic system, and one that produces more “fairness” than capitalism. They deliberately overlook the brutal slayings totaling in the millions conducted under oppressive socialist/communist regimes, as well as the puny productivity it engenders.

Students in government schools should be taught about capitalism, because it is the economic system they will live in – unless socialists succeed in taking over America and completely revamping the foundation of the nation that has produced more peace, prosperity and opportunity than any other in history.

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Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.

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