“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 to eighth grade school in Miami Lakes – took issue with the poem, for which he incorrectly cited Oprah Winfrey as author/editor, documents obtained by the show Florida Freedom to Read Project.
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 relative made similar complaints about “Love to Langston”, a biography based on the poetry 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 has been determined at the school that ‘The Hill We Climb’ is 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,” he said. he declares.
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.
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