Alex Wong/Getty Images
Amanda Gorman recited her poem “The Hill We Climb” during President Joe Biden’s inauguration in Washington in January 2021.
“The Hill We Climb,” the poem Amanda Gorman wrote for President Joe Biden’s inauguration, has been removed from the elementary section of a Miami-Dade County public school, the district confirmed Tuesday. It remains available for older children.
A parent of a student at the Bob Graham Education Center – a kindergarten through eighth grade school in Miami Lakes – objected to the poem, for which they incorrectly cited Oprah Winfrey as the author/editor, documents obtained by the Florida Freedom to Read Project show.
It “is not educational and indirectly contains (sic) messages of hate,” the complaint said, adding that the poem would “confuse and indoctrinate students.”
The same parent made similar complaints about “Love to Langston,” a poetry-based biography of black poet Langston Hughes; “The ABCs of Black History” and two books on Cuba, complaints obtained by the FFTRP show.
A school materials review committee refused to remove the books entirely from the school, but decided to move Gorman’s poem and two other disputed items to the college section of the library, which is for students. students in grades six through eight, minutes from a month of April. committee meeting, also obtained by the FFTRP, show.
Gorman, the country’s first-ever Young Poet Laureate, slammed the decision, writing on Instagram, “Depriving children of the chance to find their voice in literature is a violation of their right to freedom of thought and expression.”
In a statement to CNN Tuesday night, Miami-Dade County Public Schools spokesperson Elmo Lugo said, “No literature (books or poems) has been banned or removed.”
“It was determined at the school that ‘The Hill We Climb’ was best suited for middle school students and it has been shelved in the middle school section of the media center. The book remains available at the media center,” a- he declared.
Lugo did not respond to a request to verify the authenticity of the complaint documents released by the Florida Freedom to Read Project, saying instead that the district would treat CNN’s investigation as an official request for public records.