'Ridiculous poem hoax': DeSantis dismisses criticism over Amanda Gorman poetry ban
Governor Florida Ron DeSantis. (YES Market Media / Shutterstock.com)

Ron DeSantis on Friday appeared to side with a parent with ties to an extremist group that promotes violence who was behind an elementary school's ban of a book by National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman.

The Florida governor, who on Wednesday announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination, appeared to support Daily Salinas, whose complaint led a Florida public school to restrict access to The Hill We Climb,” a book adaptation of the poem Gorman recited at President Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Salinas complained that the book, which she inaccurately stated was authored by Oprah Winfrey, was inappropriate for children. The book includes a forward by Winfrey.

Salinas, who has two children at the Bob Graham Education Center in Miami Lakes, is the only parent who complained about the books. She cited critical race theory, gender ideology, and indoctrination as the reasons she believed the books to be inappropriate.

Salinas was photographed attending Proud Boys rallies and has ties to the ultraconservative Moms For Liberty. She posted antisemitic memes on social media that she later apologized for.

DeSantis in a speech on Friday appeared to reference the Gorman poetry ban, The Guardian reports.

“This is some book of poems, I never heard of it, I had nothing to do with any of this, that was in an elementary school library and the school or the school district determined that was more appropriate to be in the middle school library. So they moved it,” DeSantis said at a parent-educators association homeschool convention in Orlando.

DeSantis accused the mainstream media of spreading a “hoax.”

“The media, when they talk about ‘book ban’, understand that is a hoax. They are creating a false narrative,” he said.

“These legacy media outlets are … trying to create a political narrative that is totally divorced from the facts and if they’re going to do something like this ridiculous poem hoax and actually put that out there and think that you’re going to believe it, they’re insulting your intelligence and our country.”

The Florida governor suggested that parents such as Salinas are protecting children from a “ideological agenda.”

“They don’t want the parents involved in education because they view you as an impediment to their ideological agenda,” he said.

“They view you as an impediment to their ability to indoctrinate kids with their beliefs and their agendas. I’m sorry, I choose our beliefs as parents over the beliefs of the ideological left."

“We want parents to be armed with the ability to make sure their kids are in a safe environment, and yet you have narrative, and you have the left trying to jam this in.”

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