Ohio Mayor Asks School Board To Resign Over Sexually Explicit Writing Prompts Given To High School Students

Mayor Craig Shubert

When most of us think of the worst school assignments we've ever gotten in high school, the mundane comes to mind: lengthy essays on dry topics and never-ending algebra equations. 

Though for some students in Ohio's Hudson High School, their answer might be, "describing their favorite part of a man's body using only verbs." 

A series of sexually explicit writing prompts reportedly feautured in one high school class and neither the parents or the local mayor are happy about it.

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Now, an Ohio Mayor wants a school board to resign over the writing prompts.

Hudson mayor, Craig Shubert, deemed the prompts "child pornography." Earlier this week, he called for the resignation of all 5 board members. 

Parents are backing Shubert's decision, saying that, "They felt these writing prompts and others were not appropriate for high school students."

The prompts were contained in a book given to high school seniors in the Liberal Arts II college credit course. 

Students were given an assignment using prompts from "642 Things to Write About."

The book, which was likely not thoroughly reviewed by teachers or the school board contained several racy writing prompts. 

The prompts that sparked outrage, included:

  • "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."
  • "Write an X-rated Disney scenario."

The mother of a Hudson High School senior, Monica Havens, shared several of the book's prompts at the board meeting. Some were more tame, including, "Write a scene that begins: 'It was the first time I killed a man,'" and "describe the perfect day as an astronaut." 

Havens reported that she learned of the book through a friend who shared a screenshot. She then asked her daughter to retrieve her own copy.

When the teen showed Havens the book's contents, she was left appalled. 

“I can’t even wrap my brain around a teacher, I don’t care if it’s for college credit, these are minors,” Havens said.

At the board meeting, Shubert told board members and teachers they could be charged. 

"It has come to my attention that your educators are distributing what is essentially child pornography in the classroom," Shubert told them. 

"I've spoken to a judge this evening, she's already confirmed that. I'm going to give you a simple choice: either choose to resign from this Board of Education, or you will be charged."

This ultimatum was met with cheers from audience members in attendance. 

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Erik Dirker, a police officer with the city of Stow, Ohio, also called for the installation of cameras in classrooms in the same board meeting. 

“Police officers wear body cameras to monitor their behavior, and they have brief interactions with the public," Dirker said. "You guys have our kids all day and we don’t know what’s going on in the classrooms."

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While it's not yet clear what charges board members would face, they've made one thing clear — they don't plan on resigning anytime soon. 

David Zuro, the Hudson school board's president, defended his fellow colleagues. 

In a statement, Zuro announced that, "While we respect the Mayor's position within the City of Hudson, in accordance with the State laws of Ohio, the supervision of the public schools of this District is the responsibility of the Board of Education." 

District officials also stated the class requires a signed permission slip from parents in order to allow students to enroll in Liberal Arts II and other College Credit Plus courses.

The paperwork reportedly contains a disclaimer stating the "possibility of mature content being used since it is a college-level course."

The same officials said the writing prompts are merely supplementary resources, and were never actually assigned or discussed as part of the class. 

For now, the book's been removed from the course as an ongoing investigation is looking into the reviewal and approval of the material. 

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Yona Dervishi is a writer who is currently working at YourTango as an editorial intern. She covers topics pertaining to news and entertainment.