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Florida School Bans Amanda Gorman’s Poem From Biden Inauguration After One Complaint

A Florida school has banned elementary students from reading several works in its library, including The Hills We Climb, the poem written and read by Amanda Gorman at Joe Biden’s inauguration as president.

The poem will now only be accessible to middle school students at the Bob Graham Education Center in Miami Lakes, Florida after a parent filed a formal objection to the work

“Unnecessary #bookbans like these are on the rise, and we must fight back,”

Gorman said in a post on Facebook

In a statement, the district said no literature had been banned or removed.

“It was determined at the school that ‘The Hill We Climb’ is better suited for middle school students and, it was shelved in the middle school section of the media center. The book remains available in the media center,” the statement said.

A review of five titles available at the library at Bob Graham Education Center in Miami Lakes was triggered after a parent of two students filled out forms requesting the titles be removed “from the total environment,” according to the documents obtained by the Freedom to Read Project, a group founded by public school parents and dedicated to fighting what it calls book bans in the state.

In an attempt to fight back, Gorman said her publisher – Penguin Random House – is joining PEN America and others in a lawsuit to challenge book restrictions.

“I’m gutted,” the former and first-ever National Youth Poet Laureate wrote on Instagram about the Bob Graham Education Center’s decision to ban her work from the students it serves. The decision was made after one parent complained, Gorman wrote.

She also took to Twitter, saying, “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.”

Her tweet included a copy of a complaint form that states her book “is not educational” and contains “hate messages.” The form, also tweeted by The Florida Freedom to Read Project, also says the complainant believes the purpose of the book is to “cause confusion and Indoctrinate students.”

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Written by Rene Harris