WaPo: FL Lawmakers Want To Make "America" Mandatory In Schools

Originally posted at The Washington Post.

Conservative author and pundit Dinesh D’Souza could soon see his latest documentary become a part of Florida’s education curriculum, should two state lawmakers get their way.

A pair of Florida Senate and House bills dubbed “Patriotic Film Screening” would require all eighth and 11th grade students to watch America>, unless parents submit written permission for their child to be excused.

The D’Souza film, which follows surprise hit and anti-Obama film 2016: Obama’s America, seeks to recast common criticisms of the United States, such as slavery. Bill sponsor state Sen. Alan Hays told the News-Press that it is needed to counter”erroneous” information being taught in history classrooms, which he said is overly negative. “Frankly, it’s embarrassing that we allow these lies to be taught in our school system,” Hays said. “Unfortunately, our parents and our school board members have not kept up with the misrepresentation of American history that is being perpetrated in our school system, and this movie gives a totally different view.”

America was widely panned by critics and those on the left, while making $2.75 million its first weekend. The movie is a “slick, sprawling celebration of American exceptionalism that could, much like its predecessor, make a bundle by rigorously reinforcing the deeply-held beliefs and darkest suspicions of its target audience,” Variety’s Joe Leydon wrote in a June review.

D’Souza, who was sentenced in September to eight months of community confinement after pleading guilty to violating campaign finance laws, told the News-Press that he has condensed the film into an 80-minute “educational version.” He also said schools “consistently” deliver a message that the United States is a “disgrace.”


“I’ve looked at history books and talked to history teachers and the message the students are getting is very different from what is in the movie,” Hays told the Hollywood Reporter in July, when he first announced his intention to file the bill. “It’s dishonest and insulting. The students need to see the truth without political favoritism.”

It’s not clear how far the bill will go. The proposal has received some push-back from anti-Common Core activists in the state. “How can you rage against Common Core forcing teachers to follow geographically-broad curriculum, and then support this?” Libertarian Party of Florida at-large director Matt Worley told the News-Press. The bill is the “height of hypocrisy,” he added.

Read more at The Washington Post.


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  • Pat says:

    January 21, 2015 at 8:17 PM

    The educational community says that they want to teach kids to think for themselves and to celebrate LGBT, Muslims, Atheists, how about celebrating the birth of our country and the men who drafted our Constitution and the Bill of Rights? How about looking at the other side of slavery instead of something ugly that blacks are still holding against the white race? How would their lives be today if their great grandparents had never come to America? Would they have better lives if those great grandparents had stayed in Africa? Just something for them to think about….

  • Barbara Adams says:

    January 23, 2015 at 4:16 AM

    I wish it would be required to be shown in schools across America!

  • Thom Phillips says:

    January 25, 2015 at 2:57 AM

    Your earlier conclusions from the “2016” book/DVD concerning Obama are proved to be true in my mind. My wife was a moderate Democrat, but is now a Republican since watching the film and paying attention to what is occurring in government.

    It would be GREAT if all schools would require showing and discussing the “America” film as part of their curriculum.

    I am so frustrated watching this country being turned into a Socialist country. Thank you for making these video documentaries.