Poet Amanda Gorman appeared on CBS Morning on Wednesday and gave her first interview since the publication of her poem and book, The Hill We Climb.in May.
. Parents of two children who attend the Bob Graham Education Center, a kindergarten through eighth grade school in Miami Lakes, have filed a complaint, resulting in the removal of this book from the primary section of the library. Became.
parent — whoHe argued that the content was not educational, contained indirect hate messages, and was intended to educate students. She said she had not read the book and that she had mistakenly identified its author as Oprah Winfrey. Three other books were also restricted.
Gorman said that in addition to the book being moved to the middle school section of the library, students now specifically request “The Hill We Climb” and are at a level where they can read the book properly. Said you need to prove it to the house.
“There is a huge loophole where we expect that if we don’t burn books in the back of the school and throw them away, it’s not a ban…I think we need more understanding about the restrictions and removals that are going on.” said Gorman.
“Just because a book is technically still in circulation doesn’t mean we maintain access to it,” she says. “If anything, we see a lot of rollbacks of that access.”
Ms. Gorman said she experienced “a mixture of shock and sadness” when she heard that her book was restricted.
“I couldn’t understand why you would describe this piece as inappropriate for elementary school students…When I wrote ‘The Hill We Climb’, I felt that young people were making themselves at our key moments.” It was very important to me to see it represent the history of democracy, and the erasure of that reality in that moment for young people who deserve to see themselves in such places and stations. It was a real shame to be the one,” Gorman said.
“The Hill We Climb” is one of many books that have recently been removed from the library or restricted from being housed in the library.According to a PEN America report, the impact from school libraries will reach 138 school districts in 32 states in the 2021-2022 school year. Florida and Texas are leading the nation in such restrictions.
Gorman cited a Washington Post analysis that showed that most of the country’s book bans were filed by just 11 people.
Proponents of book restrictions argue that this is a matter of parental rights and that parents should have a say in what their children have access to at school.
“For me what it emphasizes is how the structure works… all it takes is one person to make the book inaccessible to anyone in that community. Just have someone write a complaint right away,” Gorman said. “I don’t see this as a problem between parents and schools because, if you think about it, every parent has the right to decide what to read to their child. I have no problem if some parents don’t like poetry. I think it’s a big deal if we get into a situation because it violates our freedom to truly absorb, love and enjoy. Literature from where we are. ”
Gorman also highlighted research findings that indicated many of the complaints were directed at books featuring LGBTQ+ characters, characters of color, or discussing LGBTQ+ or race-related topics.
“You have to think about what kind of message it’s sending to young readers. It’s like saying, ‘If you’re African-American, you’re inappropriate. If you’re gay, you’re inappropriate. If you’re immigrant, you’re inappropriate.'” Gorman said. “And while there’s a big argument that it’s to protect children from ideas that are too advanced for them, when you look at the majority of books that are actually banned, it’s rather to create a bookshelf that isn’t banned. It represents the many facets of America.”
Gorman told CBS News that he is working with PEN America, which advocates for free expression and champions authors around the world, to bring the book back to shelves. She and her organization launched a campaign asking people to send letters to school districts asking them to make “The Hill We Climb” available to all students.