June 4, 2023

A Florida elementary school has banned its students from reading the poem Amanda Gorman recited aloud at President Joe Biden’s inauguration following a complaint from a parent.

The poem titled “The Hills We Climb” will only be available to middle school students at the Bob Graham Education Center in Miami Lakes, FL, the Miami Herald reports.

“I’m gutted,” the 25-year-old wrote on Instagram, saying that book bans are on the rise in the US and that “all it takes to remove these works from our libraries and schools is a single objection.”

Gorman’s poem was included among several pieces of reading materials banned from the school, which is for students from kindergarten to eighth grade.

While the body of work received international praise, Daily Salinas — a parent whose two kids are students at the school — has challenged its context about critical race theory and gender ideology.

In addition to Gorman’s poem, Salinas pushed back on four books, including: “The ABCs of Black History,” “Cuban Kids,” “Countries in the News Cuba,” and “Love to Langston.” The parent wrote the book was not educational and has hate messages in it, adding the poem’s intent is to “cause confusion and indoctrinate students.” Instagram

Salinas told the publication in Spanish that she’s “not for eliminating or censoring any books” but instead wants children to be taught “the truth” about Cuba.

According to the complainant datelined March 29, 2023, Gorman is mistaken for 69-year-old talk show host Oprah Winfrey as the poem’s author.

It also alleges the poem contains “hate messages” and could “confuse and indoctrinate students” before requesting Gorman’s work be removed from classrooms. Youth Poet Amanda Gorman reads her poem “The Hills We Climb” during President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ inauguration at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington, DC. Getty Images

Gorman revealed publisher Penguin Random House is joining forces with PEN America in challenging book restrictions with a lawsuit.

“Let’s be clear: most of the forbidden works are by authors who have struggled for generations to get on bookshelves,” she continued. “The majority of these censored works are by queer and non-white voices.”

Gorman said that banning her body of work is a way of “robbing children of the chance to find their voices in literature.” “The Hills We Climb” poem will only be available to middle school students and not elementary school students at Bob Graham Education Center in Miami Lakes, FL, the Miami Herald reports.Google Maps

Following up on Twitter, she wrote, “So they ban my book from young readers… fail to specify what parts of my poetry they object to, refuse to read any reviews, and offer no alternatives. Unnecessary #bookbans like these are on the rise, and we must fight back.”

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