An Ohio Board of Education is facing widespread criticism and calls for resignation from Hudson Mayor Craig Schubert after high school seniors received writing assignments that asked for their description of sexual experiences and other inappropriate incidents.
"It has come to my attention that your educators are distributing what is essentially child pornography in the classroom," Schubert said during a board meeting on Monday. The official revealed he had spoken to a judge who confirmed the incident. He gave the entire board a simple choice: resign from the Board of Education or face criminal charges.
Inappropriate School Assignments
On Wednesday, the president of the board, David Zuro, said that no member has shown any intention of resigning from their positions. It remains unclear what kind of charges the board members could face related to the incident.
In a statement, Zuro said that while the board respected the mayor's position in Hudson, they said he had no authority to call for their resignation as the Board of Education is responsible for the supervision of the public schools in the district under State Laws of Ohio, NBC News reported.
The writing assignment that captured Schubert's attention was contained in a book titled "642 Things To Write About." It was given to seniors who were taking a college credit course at Hudson High School.
The book included some of the following tasks: "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." Another assignment asks the students' perspective on the taste of beer.
Many parents immediately criticized the writing assignments, and speakers who attended the board meeting called the tasks "disgusting" and a form of "grooming." Phil Herman, the Hudson City Schools Superintendent, demanded the books to be pulled on Monday, calling them "inappropriate and offensive writing prompts," Fox News reported.
Process of Reviewing Curriculum Content
Herman noted that the district immediately said that the writings had no place in educational establishments. He ordered officials on Monday to collect all the books from enrolled students in the course. On that same day, Hudson High School principal Brian Wilch said he and his administrative team talked with and expressed their apologies to the parents of the students.
Wilch argued that the course was offered in association with Hiram College and said that the "642 Things" book was previously used in other classes. He admitted that authorities did not do their due diligence in reviewing the resources which resulted in the oversight of the inappropriate content. The principal said that the assignments were not selected or discussed before being given to the students.
Staff attorney with the Ohio School Boards Association, Ralph Lusher, noted there have never been criminal charges filed against a school board over the content of a curriculum. Lusher emphasized that school boards usually had a process where committees review curriculums before it is sent to the board for approval. He said that it was "unlikely that something would get to them that is of such moral turpitude that it would bring criminal charges," USA Today reported.