Amanda Gorman's Inauguration Poem Banned — Along with 3 Race-Related Books — at a Miami-Area School

"The Hill We Climb," a now-famous poem written and recited by Gorman at Biden's 2020 inauguration, is among four works that were singled out by a parent who complained that they sent "indirect hate messages"

Rob Carr/Getty
Rob Carr/Getty

A Florida school has banned four books for elementary students after one parent objected to the titles and argued they were inappropriate. One of them was a collection of poems by Amanda Gorman that includes her noteworthy The Hill We Climb piece, which she wrote for the last presidential inauguration.

The Miami Herald, citing records obtained by the Florida Freedom to Read Project, reports that a parent at Bob Graham Education Center in Miami Lakes objected to five titles at the K-8 school. The books included The ABCs of Black History, Cuban Kids, Countries in the News: Cuba, Love to Langston, and the poem The Hill We Climb, which was read aloud by Gorman at the inauguration of President Joe Biden in 2020 and is included in a larger book of poems released by Gorman.

A school materials review committee, comprised of staff members at the school, ultimately concluded that one of those books — Countries in the News: Cuba — was “balanced and age appropriate" and would therefore remain on the library shelves. The others, however, were deemed "more appropriate” for middle school-aged children, and will now be in the middle school section of the school's library, the Herald reports.

According to the Herald, the bans only affect the one school and took effect after a parent of two students, identified by the outlet as Daily Salinas, challenged the books for containing what she called “indirect hate messages” and indoctrination. Speaking to the Herald, Salinas said she "is not for eliminating or censoring any books."

RELATED: Poet Amanda Gorman, 22, Reads Work She Wrote for Joe Biden's Inauguration: 'The Dawn Is Ours'

Drew Angerer/Getty Amanda Gorman prepares to speak at the 2020 inauguration of Joe Biden
Drew Angerer/Getty Amanda Gorman prepares to speak at the 2020 inauguration of Joe Biden

Gorman was 22 years old at the time she first read her poem to a national audience.

The Harvard University grad spoke for about five minutes to commemorate the president and vice president taking their oaths of office. In her reading, Gorman touched on unity and hope, two themes Biden's inaugural team asked the young poet to focus on.

"Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true: That even as we grieved, we grew: That even as we hurt, we hoped, that even as we tired, we tried, that we'll forever be tied together, victorious," she read, in part.

Gorman, who holds the distinction of the United States' first national youth poet laureate, was also the youngest poet in memory to read at an inaugural ceremony, as Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn in as the country's next leaders.

RELATED: Amanda Gorman Announces Her Second Children's Picture Book, Something, Someday: 'A Dream Come True'

A representative for Gorman did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment about the ban, which echoes similar bans taking place across the country — and particularly in Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law the so-called "Don't Say Gay" bill that blocks the classroom discussion of certain LGBTQ+ topics in grades K-12.

Since the passage of that bill in 2022, dozens of school districts have removed books (many of which touch on LGBTQ+ issues) from their school libraries.

In March, DeSantis called book bans a "hoax," even as advocacy group PEN America says at least 175 books have been removed in school libraries across the state of Florida in recent months.

Even some Republican donors have acknowledged the bans, with one businessman telling the Financial Times recently he would not be financing a DeSantis presidential run, due to the governor's extreme social positions, including, specifically "his stance on abortion and book banning."

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