A mayor in Ohio has threatened the city’s entire school board with criminal charges unless they resign over highly sexual writing prompts that teachers gave to underage students.
Hudson Mayor Craig Schubert delivered the harsh ultimate during a school board meeting on Monday, garnering loud applause from outraged parents who also spoke out on the issue.
At issue are the highly inappropriate writing prompts distributed to students in the Liberal Arts II writing class at Hudson High School, including ‘Write a sex scene you wouldn’t show your mom’, ‘Describe your favorite part of a man’s body using only verbs’ and ‘Write an X-rated Disney scenario’.
‘It has come to my attention that your educators are distributing essentially what is child pornography in the classroom,’ fumed Mayor Schubert during public comments.
‘I’ve spoken to a judge this evening and she’s already confirmed that. So I’m going to give you a simple choice: either choose to resign from this board of education or you will be charged,’ the mayor added.
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Hudson Mayor Craig Schubert threatened the city’s entire school board with criminal charges unless they resign over highly sexual writing prompts that teachers gave to underage students
Hudson School Board Members James Field (left) and Tom Tobin (right)
Inappropriate prompts included in the book
- Write a sex scene you wouldn’t show your mom.
- Rewrite the sex scene from above into one that you’d let your mom read.
- You have just been caught in bed by a jealous spouse. How will you talk your way out of this?
- Write a sermon for a beloved preacher who has been caught in a sex scandal.
- Describe a time when you wanted to orgasm but couldn’t.
- Ten euphemisms for sex.
- You are a brand-new suicide-hotline counselor. Describe how you feel during the course of your first call.
- Write a letter from the point of view of a drug addict.
- Drink a beer. Write about the taste.
- Write an X-rated Disney scenario.
- A roomful of people who want to sleep together.
- The first time you had sex.
- Describe your favorite part of a man’s body using only verbs.
The mayor then rose from the microphone and stormed out of the meeting, to loud cheers and applause from parents in the audience.
It was unclear whether the inappropriate written material given to schoolchildren truly violates child pornography laws as the mayor claimed, but nevertheless parents in the district were outraged.
Ohio law does prohibit sending ‘harmful’ or obscene material to, or sharing it with, a minor, though this statute usually refers to sexting or sending obscene images.
The relevant statute exempts obscene material that is presented for ‘bona fide’ educational purposes, leaving the legal questions around the controversy murky.
The offensive prompts were given to students in the book 642 Things To Write About, which contains many innocuous writing prompts as well as some that are highly sexualized and inappropriate for minors.
The writing class that the book was assigned in is offered in association with Hiram College for college credit, but is taught at the high school, officials said.
Parent Monica Havens told the school board meeting she found out about the inappropriate writing prompts from a friend, the Plain Dealer reported.
‘I asked my daughter if she had been reading a book with inappropriate stuff in it and she said yes,’ said Havens, who was formerly a public school teacher for 11 years.
‘I can’t even wrap my brain around as a teacher, I don’t care if it’s for college credit, these are minors,’ Havens said.
‘When these topics are encouraged and read by adults, that is pedophilia,’ said the outraged mother.
‘This is grooming, and all of you need to be replaced,’ Havens told the school board, telling the members: ‘You have dedicated yourself to woke social justice.’
Parent Monica Havens told the school board: ‘You have allowed the sexualization of our youth and grooming material to be approved for classroom content’
Havens claimed that the book had been on the curriculum for six years, accusing the board of ‘sleeping on the job.’
The book of writing prompts includes many innocuous creative writing ideas, but also includes a selection of prompts that are inappropriate for children
‘You have allowed the sexualization of our youth and grooming material to be approved for classroom content,’ Havens said.
‘Each and every one of you should be ashamed,’ she added.
A police officer from the nearby city of Stow also addressed the board, calling for cameras to be installed in every public school classroom.
‘Police officers wear body cameras to monitor their behavior, and they have brief interactions with the public. You guys have our kids all day and we don’t know what’s going on in the classrooms,’ Dirker said.
Administrators at Hudson High School have already issued an apology over the controversy, saying they were unaware of of the inappropriate prompts and are working to collect the books.
Hudson High School Principal Brian Wilch said at Monday’s meeting: ‘There are times we need to take a step back, reflect and get better.’
‘We did not exercise our due diligence when we reviewed this resource and we overlooked several prompts that were not appropriate. We felt terrible. You can’t unsee them,’ he said.