Hudson school board members threatened over controversial writing assignment

I-Team

HUDSON, Ohio (WJW) – Hudson police are investigating threats made to some Hudson School Board members following an uproar from the city’s mayor and several parents over a college-level writing assignment that included adult themes.

The FOX 8 I-Team obtained a report filed with police saying officers were called to the school for a “telecommunications harassment call.”

School officials say several board members received threatening emails.

The I-Team reached out to the board members, and several referred us to their communication director.

The journal in question, called “642 Things to Write About,” invited students to write about a variety of topics, including some that invoked violent themes.  Other topics were of a deeply personal and intimate nature. 

The Hudson Police Department has asked the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office to review the materials.

“These allegations have resulted in threats being made against board members, faculty and
administrators in Hudson. Those threats must stop,” Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh said in a news release. “Under Ohio law, a prompt about a fictional writing is not child pornography. We will review this matter and determine if there is a factual basis that any laws were broken either by the writing prompts or the threats that have been made.”

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The journal was given to students in Hudson’s High School’s Liberal II class, taught in association with Hiram College.

Hudson Mayor Craig Shubert told board members earlier this week they should resign or face possible criminal charges.

Shubert told the I-Team Friday several of the students were “traumatized” by the assignment.

“This is not about me, this is about the student,” Shubert said. “This is also about the non-action of the board. There are several parents that are very, very upset and concerned.”

Hudson school parents question how any teacher or administrator could have found the topics acceptable for their children to write about.

One parent, who is a lawyer, points out that some of the topics invite the students to engage in illegal behavior, such as consuming alcohol.

The parents say they were especially disturbed when they learned the writing journal had been part of the curriculum for the past several years.

Hudson Schools Superintendent Phil Herman says the district was unaware of the inappropriate content in the journal until a parent brought it to their attention last Friday.

The writing journals were then collected from students on Monday.

The district is investigating.

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