A school in Florida has restricted access to “The Hill We Climb,” the poem that Amanda Gorman read at President Joe Biden’s 2021 inauguration, the Miami Herald reports.
The Bob Graham Education Center in Miami Lakes banned elementary school students from accessing Gorman’s poem, as well as three other books: The ABCs of Black History, written by Rio Cortez and illustrated by Lauren Semmer; Love to Langston, written by Tony Medina and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie; and Cuban Kids by George Ancona.
Students in the sixth through eighth grades can still check out the books.
Gorman’s poem, which was included in her debut collection, Call Us What We Carry, made her a literary superstar. She was 22 when she read the poem at Biden’s inauguration, making her the youngest poet ever to read at such an event.
Gorman posted a copy of the parent’s complaint on Twitter. In the complaint, the parent misidentifies the author as Oprah Winfrey, and in a section requesting the reason for the objection, wrote, “Is not educational and have indirectly hate messages.” In another section asking for the function of the challenged material, the parent wrote, “Cause confusion and indoctrinate students.”
“So they ban my book from young readers, confuse me with @oprah, fail to specify what parts of my poetry they object to, refuse to read any reviews, and offer no alternatives,” Gorman wrote. “Unnecessary #bookbans like these are on the rise, and we must fight back.”
Michael Schaub, a journalist and regular contributor to NPR, lives near Austin, Texas.