‘Child porn’ accusation against Hudson schools ‘reckless’: Prosecutor

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HUDSON, Ohio (WJW) – The Summit County prosecutor’s office announced Tuesday it completed a review of comments made at a Hudson School Board meeting over a controversial writing assignment that led to violent threats to board members.

FOX 8 reported extensively on a book called “642 things to Write About,” which was given to students who were taking a college-level course through Hiram College.

The book had been part of the writing curriculum for 6 years and required a parental waiver, but was only recently flagged by a parent in September who was concerned about some of the writing prompts.

After concerns about the book came to light, Hudson Mayor Craig Shubert spoke to the school board.

According to the Summit County prosecutor’s office, on September 13, Mr. Schubert stated:

“It has come to my attention that your educators are distributing what is essentially child porn in the classroom…you either choose to resign or you will be charged.”

The police chief requested an investigation by the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office.

Summit County investigators found that the book is not child porn or graphic. The report said even the parents who complained had signed the waiver and did not make effort to remove their children from the class.

The review said Mayor Shubert’s comments at the meeting were “reckless.”

Following the meeting, two school board members had 150 calls and email threats that rose to the level of reporting it to police and board members fearing for their safety, the prosecutor said.

“The reckless conduct by Hudson’s Mayor resulted in threats, fear, and hate-filled words from around the country,” Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh said in a statement.

“His conduct and behavior are not only rash but irresponsible,” the report said about Mayor Shubert.

Shubert responded with the following statement:

“I am pleased Sherri Bevan Walsh has acknowledged my 1st Amendment right of free speech. She and I may disagree on how the message was delivered, but the fact that 44 books of highly sexual and pornographic material were made available to teenagers remains troubling.”

The messages and comments included in the report are too racist, violent and extreme for FOX 8 to include in this report.

The prosecutor’s office says charges could be filed on people who made the threats.

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