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Amanda Gorman recites her poem “The Hill We Climb” during the inauguration of President Joe Biden in Washington in January 2021.
“The Mountain We Climb,” The poem Written by Amanda Gorman A Miami-Dade County public school has been pulled out of elementary school for President Joe Biden’s inauguration, the district confirmed Tuesday. It is available for older children.
Parents of a student The Bob Graham Education Center — a kindergarten through eighth-grade school in Miami Lakes — objected to the poem, for which they incorrectly listed Oprah Winfrey as the teacher/publisher, documents obtained by the Florida Freedom to Read Project show.
The complaint said it was “non-educational and contains implicitly hateful messages”, adding that the poem “will cause confusion and indoctrinate students”.
The same parents made similar complaints about “Love to Langston,” a poem-based biography of black poet Langston Hughes; “The ABCs of Black History” and two books on Cuba, complaints received by FFTRP.
A material-review committee at the school declined to remove the books entirely from the school, but decided to move the Gorman poem and two controversial items to the middle school section of the library, which is for grades six through eight, according to minutes of the committee’s April meeting, obtained by FFTRP.
Gorman, of the nation First Young Poet LaureateCriticized the decision and wrote Instagram“Depriving children of the opportunity to discover their voices in literature is a violation of their right to free thought and free speech.”
In a statement to CNN Tuesday evening, Miami-Dade County Public Schools spokesman Elmo Lugo said, “No literature (books or poetry) has been banned or removed.”
“The school decided that ‘The Hill We Climb’ was more appropriate for middle school students, and it was placed in the middle school section of the media center. The book is in the media center,” he said.
Lugo did not respond to a request to verify the authenticity of the complaint documents released by the Florida Freedom to Read Project, instead saying the district will process the CNN investigation as a formal public records request.