Mayor Craig Shubert of Hudson, Ohio demands all five school board members resign or face possible criminal charges over high school course material that he said a judge called “child pornography….I’m going to give you a simple choice: You either choose to resign or you will be charged.”
The mayor made the statement during a board of education meeting after multiple parents complained about a book called “642 Things to Write About” provided to high school students enrolled in a college credit course called Writing in the Liberal Arts II.
Parents were shocked and felt that asking students to “write a sex scene you wouldn’t show your mom,” and another which said, “rewrite the sex scene from above into one that you’d let your mom read.” were inappropriate for their children. There is another suggestion in the book that asks the children to drink beer and describe how it taste.
Superintendent Phil Herman said the “inappropriate and offensive writing prompts” were part of a supplemental resource used in the high school senior-level College Credit Plus writing sections. “The district immediately determined this writing resource should not be in the hands of our students, and on Monday, collected the books from the students enrolled in the course,” Herman said. “It is important to note that at no time were any of these inappropriate writing prompts assigned as part of the class.”
The high school principal, Brian Wilch said that “642 Things” has been used in the past and told the board that he and his administrative team apologized to the parents. The school is searching for replacement material that is suitable for high school students he said. “We did not exercise due diligence when we reviewed this resource and as a result, we overlooked several writing prompts among the 642 that are not appropriate for our high school audience,” Wilch said. “We feel terrible. At no time were any of these inappropriate prompts selected or discussed, but still they were there, and they were viewable, and you can’t unsee them.”
Mayor Shubert gave the board an ultimatum….”It has come to my attention that your educators are distributing essentially what is child pornography in the classroom,” Shubert told the board. “I’ve spoken to a judge this evening. She’s already confirmed that. So, I’m going to give you a simple choice: You either choose to resign from this board of education or you will be charged.” Audience members applauded the mayor’s statement. He would like to see all five members resign by the end of the month.
Currently there is not a requirement that requires parents to be notified about subject material, but Ralph Lusher, staff attorney with the Ohio School Boards Association said that Ohio state House Bill 110 takes effect on September 30, 2021 and will require school districts to have parents of high school students sign permission slips for College Credit Plus classes. “We’ve never heard of criminal charges filed against a school board for curriculum,” said Ralph Lusher, staff attorney with the Ohio School Boards Association. Lusher said school boards typically have a process where curriculum is reviewed by committees before it comes before the board for its approval. He said he believes it’s “unlikely that something would get to them that is of such moral turpitude that it would bring criminal charges.” But emphasized that he is not familiar with the Hudson Board of Education’s process to approve curriculum.
This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Ohio school under fire for material prompting kids write about sex