An elementary school in Florida banned the poem The Hills We Climb, which was recited by poet Amanda Gorman at President Joe Biden’s inauguration after a parent complained that it was inappropriate for children.
Daily Salinas, a parent of two students at Bob Graham Education Center, challenged the poem and four books: The ABCs of Black History, Cuban Kids, Countries in the News Cuba, and Love to Langston, in March for containing references to critical race theory, “indirect hate messages,” gender ideology and indoctrination, according to the Miami Herald.
After a review, the school determined that the poem and three of the challenged books were “more appropriate” for middle school students and moved the titles to the middle school section of the library. They determined that the book, Countries in the News Cuba, was “balanced and age appropriate in its wording and presentation” and should remain available for all students, according to the Herald.
Salinas told the outlet that she doesn’t support censorship. But, she questioned why the school allowed the books she challenged to remain available to middle school students. She argued that they should be banned for all students.
School libraries are meant “to support the curriculum of the school and I don’t see how these books support the curriculum,” she told the Herald.
Stephana Ferrell, the director of research and insight at Florida Freedom to Read Project, slammed the move as an attempt to redefine what is considered age appropriate especially regarding literary works that address race.
“Books written for students grades K-5 are being pushed to middle school [libraries and] out of reach for the students they were intended for,” she said. “They’re banned from the students they were intended for.”