We know from our work with Florida State Senator Alan Hays (R District 11-Umatilla) that once he signs on to important legislation he is virtually unstoppable. That was the case in his four year battle to get a unique version of American Law for American Courts (ALAC) passed and enacted into law in the Sunshine State. Rabbi Jonathan Hausman, Florida Christian Family Coalition executive director Anthony Verdugo and I know his effectiveness, up close and personal, from working with him on the successful passage of ALAC in the 2014 legislative session.
But that wasn’t all, he led the charge in the Florida Senate passing important legislation during the same legislative session assuring that world history texts used by school local districts are reviewed to assure that they are both accurate and fact-based. Back in the 2012 we also worked with him in successfully passing a Florida version of the Stand with Israel Resolution with unanimous bi-partisan vote.
Now, Hays has a new cause. According to an article in the Hollywood Reporter, Hays will introduce a one page bill in November 2014 mandating the viewing of Dinesh D’Souza’s new docudrama, America: Imagine the World Without her in 1,700 Florida public middle and high schools, unless objected to by parents. D’Souza’s also produced the docudrama 2016: Obama’s America. His latest film launched this month is based on the companion book by the same title, currently No. 2 on the New York Times best seller list. This despite the rising conservative media star D’Souza’s political finance legal problems.
Watch the Trailer for America.
The Hollywood Reporter report noted Hays’ reasons for his proposed legislation:
Hays said the purpose of his proposal is to introduce more balance into Florida schools.
“I saw the movie and walked out of the theater and said, ‘Wow, our students need to see this.’ And it’s my plan to show it to my colleagues in the legislature, too, before they’re asked to vote on the bill,” Hays said.
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 said. “It’s dishonest and insulting. The students need to see the truth without political favoritism.”
“The most dreaded disease in America today is political correctness. We need to inform our students of our whole history, and teach them how to think, not what to think,” Hays said. “Let them talk with their teachers, their peers and their parents, then draw their own conclusions. But they need both sides, and this movie shows a side they just aren’t seeing.”
Hays said his intent is to reach out to charitable groups that would supply schools with the necessary copies of the movie so as not to burden Florida taxpayers.
As Hays noted, that might mean pairing off D’Sousa’s with the oeuvre of liberal filmmakers currently shown in Florida’s schools. The Hollywood reporter noted:
To that end, Hays said he wouldn’t object if teachers paired America with a liberal film to show the political differences. Indeed, many schools already show Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth and some of Michael Moore’s left-leaning films, though it’s certainly more unusual to actually require the viewing of a particular movie, as Hays intends with his bill.
We wish Hays the best on his new cause. American history, taught in public school classrooms, doesn’t need inaccurate politically correct meta narratives passed off as truth. Bravo to our friend Sen. Hays for picking up the cudgel on this important initiative.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on the New English Review.