By Amanda Gorman Opening Poem “The Hill We Climb” Limited to one school in Florida, Gorman himself criticized.
Made history as Gorman The youngest known inaugural poet After performing at President Joe Biden’s inauguration, said in a Twitter post on Tuesday that he was “grieved” by the move.
“I wrote The Hill We Climb so that all young people could see themselves in a historic moment,” he wrote. “Since then, I have received countless letters and videos from children inspired by The Hill We Climb to write their own poems. To deprive children of the opportunity to find their voice in literature is a violation of their right to free thought and free speech.”
— Amanda Gorman (@TheAmandaGorman) May 23, 2023
The Miami Herald reports that a K-8 school in Miami-Dade County imposed restrictions on three books and one poem for elementary-aged students after a parent complained about five titles. According to the outlet, a parent at the Bob Graham Education Center in Miami Lake objected to “The ABCs of Black History,” “Cuban Kids,” “Countries in the News Cuba,” “Love to Langston” and The Hill We Climb. The Miami Herald obtained the complaints through the Florida Freedom to Read Project, a parent-led advocacy group fighting for children’s access to information.
Gorman shared a copy of the complaint aimed at her book (the poem was published as a short book), and it showed that the parent incorrectly referred to her as “Oprah Winfrey” under the author’s publisher section and claimed the book was not “educational.” And on pages 12-13 there is “Indirect Hate Message”. The parent also wrote that it “may cause confusion” and “could teach students,” according to the complaint.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools told CBS News in a statement that “no literature (books or poetry) was banned or removed.”
“The school determined that “The Hill We Climb” was more appropriate for middle school students and placed it in the middle school section of the media center. The book is available in the media center.”
A Florida school restricted access to Amanda Gorman’s acclaimed poem “The Hill We Climb” after a parent filed a complaint. Gorman recited that work in the press. Biden’s 2021 inauguration.
Gorman says the move is “robbing children of the opportunity to find their voice in literature.” pic.twitter.com/thYDrRmUXD
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) May 24, 2023
In a tweet, the Florida Freedom to Read Project indicated that the book would be available to students in grades 6-8 and restricted to lower grades within the school.
Gorman’s publisher, Penguin Random House, has joined a lawsuit against Penn America, the author and others. Escambia County, Florida This month the school district was accused of violating the First Amendment for removing books that discussed race, racism and LGBTQ+ identity. The legal action comes amid pressure from Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, who is not named in the lawsuit, to allow challenges based on censorship and whether the books are appropriate for school children.