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Tipsheet

What Prompted One Ohio Mayor to Give School Board Members a Choice: Resign or Face Charges

From explicit sex-ed material to gender fluidity discussions, parents are increasingly waking up to the content their children are being introduced to in school—and fighting back. In one Ohio town, the mayor took their side and gave five school board members an ultimatum over class material that was distributed, which he deemed to be “child pornography.”

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Some high school students taking a college credit course had been given a book titled “642 Things to Write About.” Among the prompts were two that stood out to parents: "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," according to the Akron Beacon Journal. Another asked students about drinking. 

"It has come to my attention that your educators are distributing essentially what is child pornography in the classroom," Hudson Mayor Craig Shubert told the Hudson Board of Education during a meeting on Monday. 

"I've spoken to a judge this evening. She's already confirmed that. So I'm going to give you a simple choice: You either choose to resign from this board of education or you will be charged," the mayor added. 

Hudson City Schools Superintendent Phil Herman agreed the book contained “inappropriate and offensive writing prompts” and has since been removed from the schools. 

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Hudson High School principal Brian Wilch offered an apology to parents for failing to “exercise due diligence” in giving students the book. “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."

It’s unclear whether the school board members could be held criminally liable for the material. 

"We've never heard of criminal charges [filed against a school board] for curriculum," Ralph Lusher, staff attorney with the Ohio School Boards Association, told the Akron Beacon Journal. 

Herman said an independent investigation is taking place "to determine how these supplemental materials were reviewed and approved, and if any additional action should be taken." He also said they are taking steps to ensure “nothing similar happens in the future.”

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