“One parent could get my poetry banned from [students in] classrooms. And yet one country can’t ban assault rifles from massacring them,” she said on Twitter.
First of all, let’s call it what it is: banned. The definition of which, according to Merriam-Webster, is “to prohibit the use, performance, or distribution of.” And regardless of how Miami-Dade Schools wants to word things, the fact still remains: “The Hill We Climb,” written by Amanda Gorman, the first national youth poet laureate and youngest ever poet to deliver an inaugural poem, is currently being banned from all elementary-aged students at Bob Graham Education Center in Miami Lakes, Florida, a kindergarten through eighth-grade school.
And it only took the complaint of one parent, Daily Salinas, to do so. One.
According to the complaint form, which was filed back in March and obtained by the Florida Freedom to Read Project, Salinas not only didn’t know the difference between 69-year-old Oprah Winfrey (who she named as the author) and 25-year-old Amanda Gorman, but she also claimed the poem had “hate messages,” was “not educational,” and would “cause confusion and indoctrinate students.” And, NPR reports this same parent also filed complains against other books: The ABCs of Black History, Love to Langston, Countries in the News Cuba, and Cuban Kids.
Bombastic side-eye. Criminal, offensive side-eye to this latest human embodiment of yet another obstacle on the hill we climb.
When Amanda found out what went down, she responded by saying, “I’m gutted. Because of one parent’s complaint, my inaugural poem, “The Hill We Climb” has been banned from an elementary school in Miami-Dade County, Florida.” She continued to explain that book bans, while not new, have been increasing at alarming rates in the past couple of years, and it will take all of us to “speak out and have our voices heard.” You can read her full response (and see Salinas’s complaint form) below:
Main Image: Instagram/@amandasgorman