An Ohio mayor has asked all five school board members of his town to resign or face criminal charges over highly sexual writing prompts that teachers gave to undergraduate students. Hudson, Ohio Mayor Craig Shubert made the statement during a board of education meeting earlier this week after a judge called the course material "child pornography."
Outraged parents attending the meeting who also felt that the topic teachers gave to student aged 17 was highly offensive and applauded Shubert's announcement. Multiple parents complained after they felt that the writing prompts in the course book weren't appropriate for undergraduate students as they contained material dealing with sex and sexual intercourse.
Shubert's decision asking all five board members to resign comes after several parents complained about the content of some writing prompts contained in 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 said there was a prompt that asked 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." Other topics included are "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," a furious Schubert said at the meeting.
"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," he added.
The topics not only are about sexual content but quite unconventional particularly for 17 year old students. One prompt asked students to drink a beer and describe how it tastes. One of the speakers said that material was "disgusting" and that it amounted to "grooming."
Superintendent Phil Herman said in a statement that 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 school to has defended its decision to teach prompts from the book '642 Things'. High school principal Brian Wilch said the class is offered in association with Hiram College but is taught at the high school. He also said the "642 Things" book has been used in the past.
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.
However, Wilch also told the board that he and his administrative team apologized to the students' parents if they found the course material offensive. The school is searching for replacement material that is suitable for high school students, he said.
That said, Shubert isn't willing to listen to anything and wants all five board members to resign or face possible charges for child pornography. It's not clear whether the board can be held criminally liable for material that was being used in a class.