A Florida school has banned elementary school students from reading several works in its library, including The Hills We Climbthe poem written and read by Amanda Gorman at the inauguration of Joe Biden as president.
The poem will now be accessible only to middle school students at the Bob Graham Education Center in Miami Lakes, Florida, according to The Miami Herald.
The poem, which has received international acclaim, is one of several texts that have reportedly been challenged by a parent of two students for discussing critical race theory or gender ideology.
Daily Salinas, the parent, also challenged the three books; The ABC of Black History, Cuban Kids, News countries Cuba, and Love to Langston, the newspaper reported.
Ms Salinas told the Herald in Spanish that he is “not for eliminating or censoring any books” but wants appropriate material that allows students to “know the truth” about Cuba.
A school committee consisting of three teachers, a library media specialist, a guidance counselor and the school principal, decided that News Cuba countriesis “balanced and age-appropriate in its wording and presentation” and will remain available to all students.
It determined that four other works were “more appropriate” for middle school students and would be moved to their place in the school library.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a set of new laws last year that restricts teaching related to gender identity or sexual orientation in kindergarten through third grade. Any lessons should be “age appropriate” for older students.
That’s why they banned my book from young readers, confused me @oprah failed to determine which parts of my poem they objected to, refused to read any reviews, and offered no alternatives…No need #bookbans this is how it is increasing, and we must fight back 👊🏿 DONATE here:… pic.twitter.com/p96dlnrSp4
– Amanda Gorman (@TheAmandaGorman) May 23, 2023
The number of book challenges across the state has increased since the introduction of the law, reports the Herald.
Ms Gorman took to Twitter on Tuesday to mock the ban and posted a form submission claiming the poem was written by Oprah Winfrey.
“So they banned my book from young readers, confused me (Oprah Winfrey) failed to determine which parts of my poem they objected to, refused to read any reviews, and nothing’ y offered alternatives… and we must fight,” he tweeted.