The world of education is buzzing with controversy over a writing prompt book dubbed “642 Things to Write About.” This innocent-looking text has sparked outrage among Hudson, Ohio community members who argue that some prompts are too scandalous for high school students.
In this article, we will guide you through the twists and turns of this issue, giving an in-depth analysis of both sides’ arguments. Will you stand by your initial thoughts after reading this? Let’s dive in and find out!
What is “642 Things to Write About”?
“642 Things to Write About” is a stimulating book filled with unique and imaginative writing prompts. Designed by the San Francisco Writers Grotto, it’s often used as an educational tool to spark creativity and improve writing skills.
However, among its hundreds of prompts are some that have ignited controversy in Hudson High School in Ohio due to their explicit nature. They include assignments such as scripting a sex scene or painting an image using provocative verbs.
After parents and administrators discovered these contentious prompts, copies of the book were swiftly taken from students, heightening concerns about content appropriateness for high schoolers even if the class offers college credit.
The Role of Hudson Mayor Craig Shubert in the Controversy
Mayor Craig Shubert of Hudson, Ohio played a pivotal role in escalating the controversy surrounding the writing prompt book “642 Things to Write About”. Known for his vehement stance against what he termed as inappropriate content within the book, Mayor Shubert publicly demanded the resignation of all members of the Hudson City School District Board of Education.
His strong assertion was based on certain prompts in the text which he affiliated with child pornography.
Shubert’s accusations didn’t end there; he alleged that not only were school board members aware these controversial prompts existed but their continued use would lead to legal charges.
Despite Superintendent Phil Herman issuing an apology and retraction of the contentious text from class usage, Mayor Shubert maintained his position. Though some parents agreed with Mayor’s concerns, many others criticized him for blowing things out of proportion and using such explosive language like ‘child pornography’.
Even so, his involvement fuelled national attention driving debates around academic freedom and intellectual growth among young scholars.
Public Reaction on Social Media
News of the controversy rapidly spread on social media platforms, sparking a whirlwind of public reactions. Twitter became a hub for discussions and debates about the incident. Some users labeled it “authoritarian cuckoo bananas” and dismissed it as mere “political theatre.” Shares by those who had experienced writing creatively on similar subjects during their high school days surfaced amidst the debate, adding depth to online conversations.
Equally prominent were voices echoing concerns around student rights, freedom in academia, censorship, and access to diverse content in an educational context. This digital outburst wasn’t confined within Hudson City or Ohio alone; people from various backgrounds shared their views globally on Facebook groups and TikTok videos.
Organizations championing for free speech like National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and PEN America also participated in these animated exchanges online.
The critical role social media played highlighted its power beyond realms of interpersonal communications pushing forward crucial dialogues related to education policies.
Timeline of Significant Events in the Controversy
The timeline of events in the controversy includes initial complaints and the mayor’s demand for resignation, the school board’s response and subsequent threats, a review of additional books, and a recall effort against the mayor.
Initial Complaints and Mayor’s Demand for Resignation
Several parents lodged initial complaints against the book ‘642 Things to Write About’ used in Hudson High School’s College Credit Plus writing class. They pointed out inappropriate topics as prompts for high school students, causing outrage in the community.
Consequently, they demanded an answer from administrators about how such explicit prompts made their way into a high school curriculum. In response, Mayor Craig Shubert of Hudson escalated things by demanding the resignation of board members involved in approving this controversial book.
Shockwaves spread nationally due to his demand and it led to mixed reactions both supporting and condemning this move on social media platforms like Facebook groups and TikTok.
School Board’s Response and Subsequent Threats
Responding to public outcry, the Hudson City School District Board of Education swiftly acted. They gathered all copies of ‘642 Things to Write About’ from the student population and stopped its usage in the college-level writing class at Hudson High School.
The school board emphasized their commitment to providing an appropriate learning environment for students while respecting parents’ concerns.
However, this didn’t quell tensions completely. Mayor Shubert issued a threatening ultimatum: resign or face criminal charges for distributing child pornography. This alarming statement caused ripples across social media.
Despite these threats and mounting pressure, no school board members have shown signs of stepping down yet. Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh criticized Mayor Shubert’s severe reaction calling it a threat incitement against the school board but confirmed there would be no prosecution.
Review of Additional Books and Recall Effort Against Mayor
In the aftermath of the controversy, a review of other books in the curriculum was conducted to ensure appropriate content. Meanwhile, growing dissatisfaction with Mayor Shubert’s role in escalating tensions led to a recall effort against him.
Despite an investigation finding no violation of school board policies concerning ‘642 Things to Write About’, Mayor Shubert continued his criticism and held firm on his stance. Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh chastised him for fueling threats but stopped short of legal action.
The unfolding drama points towards a significant divide in Hudson over educational materials and local government’s role in their governance.
The controversy surrounding “642 Things to Write About” in Hudson, Ohio has sparked intense debate among parents, administrators, and the community. Concerns about inappropriate writing prompts for high school students have led to calls for resignations and changes in curriculum.
This incident highlights the importance of open-mindedness, healthy discourse, and critical thinking skills in education.