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Media claims Florida school 'banned' another famous book. But school officials say it's not true.

David Livingston/Getty Images

The media claimed that a Miami-area school banned a book containing the famous poem read at President Joe Biden's inauguration.

But Miami-Dade County Public Schools said it's not true.

What did the media claim?

Numerous headlines from national outlets outright claimed that Amanda Gorman's book — "The Hill We Climb," which contains the poem she read at Biden's inauguration — was banned from a school library in Miami.

  • The Associated Press: "Amanda Gorman's poem for Biden's inauguration banned by Florida school"
  • Los Angeles Times: "Amanda Gorman on her inauguration poem being banned from Miami school: 'I am gutted'"
  • USA Today: "Florida school blocks younger students from reading Amanda Gorman's 'The Hill We Climb' poem"
  • MSNBC: "Florida school bans Amanda Gorman poem over one parent’s CRT fears"
  • Rolling Stone: "Florida School Bans Amanda Gorman’s Inaugural ‘The Hill We Climb’ Poem"
  • Politico: "Florida school limits access to Amanda Gorman's inaugural poem after parental complaint"

But what's the truth?

It's true that a parent filed a complaint about "The Hill We Climb." And it's true that officials at Bob Graham Education Center, a K-8 school in Miami Lakes, took action in response to that complaint.

But the book was not banned, neither was it removed from the library. Instead, the book was merely moved to a different section of the school's media center.

"No literature (books or poem) has been banned or removed," said Miami-Dade County Public Schools spokesperson Elmo Lugo.

"It was determined at the school that ‘The Hill We Climb’ is better suited for middle school students and, it was shelved in the middle school section of the media center," he explained. "The book remains available in the media center."

The parent who initiated the complaint told the Miami Herald that she "is not for eliminating or censoring any books." She only wants library materials to be age appropriate.

That parent actually filed complaints about five titles: Gorman's poem and four other books. Officials then convened a review committee — "composed of three teachers, a library media specialist, a guidance counselor and the school’s principal," according to the Herald — who agreed that the poem and three of the other books should be moved to a different area of the library because they are "better suited" or "more appropriate" for middle school students.

What did Gorman say?

Gorman also repeated the false claim that her book has been "banned."

"I'm gutted," she said in a statement. "Robbing children of the chance to find their voices in literature is a violation of their right to free thought and free speech."

To be fair, Gorman posted the statement on Tuesday afternoon hours before Miami-Dade County Public Schools confirmed that her book has not been banned.

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