Miami Elementary School BANs students from reading poem Amanda Gorman recited at Biden’s inauguration after parent complains he spread ‘hate messages’ and takes the poet for OPRAH
- Several books from a Miami school have been identified as more appropriate for a middle school audience than for elementary school students
- Among those books was Amanda Gorman’s poetry book which included the poem she wrote and read during the inauguration of Joe Biden.
- Parent who complained about Gorman poem misidentified author of work as Oprah Winfrey
A Miami elementary school has banned students from reading a poem read at the inauguration of Biden – the parent who complained he mistook his young black author for Oprah Winfrey.
THE Miami Herald reported that a parent at the Bob Graham Education Center in Miami Lakes took issue with Amanda Gorman’s The Hill We Climb.
Explaining their complaint in a form shared by Gorman, who is 25, they wrote that the work is “not educational and indirectly contains messages of hate”. (sic)
The complainant further adds that the widely praised work could “confuse and indoctrinate students”.
They also misidentified Oprah Winfrey, 69, as the author of the poem, which was read by Gorman at Biden’s inauguration in January 2021. Winfrey wrote a foreword for the work, which may have confused the complainant.
It is unclear what exactly offended the parent. The Hill We Climb has no bad language. It references Gorman’s slave ancestors and also takes aim at Donald Trump’s refusal to concede the 2020 election to Biden.
A review committee of school staff members ultimately concluded that four of the five titles were more suitable for middle school students and will now be placed in the college section of the library.
Amanda Gorman, then 22, reads her poem The Hill We Climb during the 2021 inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris
The parent wrote that the book was not appropriate for any school and that its purpose was to “confuse and indoctrinate students”.
Parent who complained about Gorman poem misidentified author of work as Oprah Winfrey
The ban relates exclusively to the one school where a parent of two complained that reading material contained “indirect hate messages” and was part of an effort to indoctrinate children.
In response to news of his book being removed from grade school shelves, Gorman posted a statement to him. instagram:
‘I’m empty. Because of a parent’s complaint, my inaugural poem, The Hill We Climb, was banned from an elementary school in Miami-Dade County, Florida.
She went on to say that book bans are on the rise in the United States and “all it takes to remove these works from our libraries and schools is a single objection.” And let’s be clear: most banned works are from authors who have struggled for generations to find their way into libraries. The majority of these censored works are in queer, non-white voices.
She wrote that the banning of her poem is a way of “depriving children of the chance to find their voice in literature”, which in turn is “a violation of their right to freedom of thought and expression “.
She added that her publisher, Penguin Random House, has joined a Florida lawsuit challenging restrictions on books like the Bob Graham Education Center.
Gorman responded to news that his book had been removed from an elementary school library and announced that his publisher had joined a lawsuit in Florida that opposes parents’ right to dictate if something is inappropriate for their child at school.
Elementary students at Bob Graham Education Center banned from reading Amanda Gorman’s poem
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has sought to prevent children from reading material he deems inappropriate, but has denied banning the books.
The legislator – who is launching his 2024 presidential candidacy on Wednesday evening – has sought to target books on gender and sexuality, but other volumes have also been the subject of complaints.
It is unclear precisely which part of Gorman’s poem the parent took issue with. The work contains lines that refer to an “unfinished” nation, as well as a “force” that could “break” democracy.
“Somehow we have stood and witnessed / a nation that is not broken, / but simply unfinished. / We the successors of a country and a time / where a skinny black girl / descended from slaves and raised by a single mother / may dream of becoming president / only to find herself reciting for one,” reads a stanza from the Gorman poem.
He continues, “We saw a force that would shatter our nation / rather than divide it. / Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy. / And this effort almost succeeded. / But while democracy can be periodically delayed, / it can never be finally defeated.
Gorman’s Harvard-educated reading at the inauguration was widely acclaimed and launched her career as a writer and model.