Florida School Is Banning Poems Now, Amanda Gorman’s Inaugural Ode On The Chopping Block

Florida School Is Banning Poems Now, Amanda Gorman’s Inaugural Ode On The Chopping Block

National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman is speaking out after a Florida school banned the poem she read at President Joe Biden’s inauguration due to one parent’s objection.

“The Hill We Climb,” which had been turned into a short book for students, will not be allowed as reading for elementary school students at Bob Graham Education Center in Miami Lakes, Florida, after parent Daily Salinas determined it “is not educational” and contains “hate messages,” according to USA Today.

Gorman shared her frustrations in an Instagram post with her more than 3 million followers, alongside the formal complaint made by Salinas. “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…,” her caption read. “Unnecessary #bookbans like these at @bgec_mialks @miamischools are on the rise, and we must fight back 👊🏿If you’d like to help, donate to my fundraiser to support @penamerica as they protect literature, spread the word, and follow great grassroots orgs like @flfreedomread.”


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Salinas, who has two children at the school, said that the function of Gorman’s book was to “cause confusion and indoctrinate students.” She also named four other titles that she felt were offensive and inappropriate for students of all ages. This ban follows many others like it in the state where Gov. Ron Desantis has waged war on historical and cultural accuracy, especially regarding non-white people. For Gorman, these book bans threaten the natural curiosity children possess, allowing them to colorfully shape their own worldview.

“I wrote The Hill We Climb so that all young people could see themselves in a historical moment. I’ve received countless letters and videos from children inspired by The Hill We Climb to write their own poems,” she said. “Robbing children of the chance to find their voices in literature is a violation of their right to free thought and free speech.”