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US city mayor threatens school board over ‘child porn’ writing-prompt book that included tasks to describe sexual experiences

US city mayor threatens school board over ‘child porn’ writing-prompt book that included tasks to describe sexual experiences
The mayor of the city of Hudson in Ohio has issued an ultimatum to its school board, calling on its members to either resign or face possible criminal charges over high school course material that he labelled “child pornography.”

Both Mayor Craig Shubert and parents of Hudson High School students demanded the resignation of school board members and teachers, after it was alleged that a book used in the school’s college preparatory writing class contained inappropriate writing prompts.

Until Monday, the book – titled ‘642 Things to Write About’ – was being used by students in a senior College Credit Plus class called ‘Writing in the Liberal Arts II’. It apparently contained prompts that ask students to “describe your favorite part of a man’s body using only verbs,” “write a sex scene you wouldn’t show your mom,” and “describe a time when you wanted to orgasm but couldn’t.”

Along with other prompts about murder, drug use, and suicide, the book included tasks about describing the first time they had sex, coming up with an “X-rated Disney scenario,” writing a “sermon for a beloved preacher who has been caught in a sex scandal,” listing “ten euphemisms for sex” and writing about a “roomful of people who want to sleep together.”

During a school board meeting on Monday, Shubert said the school was distributing “essentially what is child pornography in the classroom.” Several parents had earlier complained about the content.

“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,” Shubert said.

Shubert’s warning prompted loud cheers and applause from many of the audience members. However, unidentified Hudson City Schools officials told the News 5 TV station that none of its school board members had announced plans to resign from their positions as yet.

“It is important to note that at no time were any of these inappropriate writing prompts assigned as part of the class,” Hudson City Schools Superintendent Phil Herman said in a statement.

Herman added that an independent investigation was underway “to determine how these supplemental materials were reviewed and approved, and if any additional action should be taken.”

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At the meeting, school Principal Brian Wilch apologized for the school having not exercised “due diligence when we reviewed this resource” – which he said had led to “several writing prompts among the 642 that are not appropriate for our high school audience” being “overlooked.” 

According to Wilch, the book had been used as a support resource in the past, but he claimed he had become aware of the inappropriate content only last Friday afternoon. He added that the school had apologized to the parents and was searching for more suitable study material.

“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,” Wilch added.

However, parents accused the board of attempting to “sexualize our kids” and questioned how the “raw filth” had “snuck past the gatekeeping functions” of educators and board members for years. One speaker said the material amounted to “grooming,” while another parent, a police officer, called for cameras to be installed in classrooms.

“The students were told not to take the book home. Why? So their parents couldn’t see it,” said parent Morris Norman.

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