The hill down which we tumble

Incomplete and inaccurate, Daily Salinas’ application to remove “The Hill We Climb” from a Miami-Dade County elementary school should have been dismissed outright.

Salinas didn’t even list the correct author of the piece. She left several lines blank, including “To what do you object,” which seems like a key thing to answer when you’re so offended by something that you demand its removal. And, she wrote “I don’t need it” to the question of whether she had read any reviews of the book she wanted removed. 

Had they been grading Salinas’ work, any teacher would have given her an F. 

Instead, the public school administrators at Bob Graham Education Center voted to honor the petition and remove the book from the elementary library. 

Are these the standards we want for our public schools? 

According to an interview Salinas gave to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, she said, “I’m not an expert. I’m not a reader. I’m not a book person. I’m a mom involved in my children’s education.”

I can’t imagine anyone, especially the taxpayers who fund the Miami Lakes School District, would be comfortable with a person who does not read and is not a book person selecting the reading material for any publicly-funded library.

Yet, here we are, tumbling down a slippery slope toward illiteracy and indoctrination.

Happily, the uproar that followed the poem’s removal, led to a resurgence of appreciation for it. I read it again a couple of times, though with increasing bewilderment at anyone’s objection.

“We close the divide because we know to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside.

We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another.

We seek harm to none and harmony for all.”

You can hear Amanda Gorman read her historic poem in its entirety and read the full text almost anywhere. 

Except in one Salinas City Elementary School library.

What a shame. 

But, even if you disagree with Gorman’s poem and applaud its removal, you should be very wary of the process by which it was removed.

Because if you don’t even have to complete an application to convince a school board to remove a piece of literature from a public school library, then by what standards are we choosing those books?

We all should be concerned about that.

If this were a test (and it is), Ms. Salinas would fail. She didn’t even list the correct author.
My daughter Katherine and I climbed this hill a couple of years ago. I’m wearing my “Peace. Love. Oprah shirt.” But, Oprah didn’t write “The Hill We Climb.” Amanda Gorman did.

You can hear Amanda Gorman read her poem here:

5 thoughts on “The hill down which we tumble

  1. I highly recommend the audiobook! What a joy to have Amanda Gorman read The Hill We Climb to me! I replayed it at least 3 times and didn’t hear one objectionable line.

  2. I have read this to my Grandchildren. It is so beautifully written. I consider it a treasured keepsake.

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