Northeast Ohio parents up in arms over writing assessment with adult themes they find offensive, inappropriate

Ohio News

HUDSON, Ohio (WJW) – Parents of students at Hudson High School in northeast Ohio are up in arms over a college-level writing assignment that included adult themes they find offensive and highly inappropriate. 

Monica Havens says she was horrified when she learned that her 17-year-old-daughter had been given the writing journal in her college credit English course.

The journal, called “642 Things to Write About,” invited students to write about a variety of topics, including some that invoked violent themes.

“One of the topics was ‘You’re a serial killer. What’s on your DVR and why?’” said Havens.

Other topics were of a deeply personal and intimate nature. 

“I would be completely appalled if somebody asked me to write about those things and I’m a grown woman,” said Havens.

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

“I don’t think any of my corporate clients would tolerate it. Someone would be fired, someone would lose their job,” said corporate trainer George Carson.

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.

“It’s immediately evident that that someone who instructs a minor to break the law is committing a crime themselves. I mean, that is contributing to the delinquency of a minor,” said Matthew Clapper.

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

“It’s clear that as a district, we did not properly review this resource, and for that, we sincerely apologize. An independent investigation is now underway to determine how these supplemental materials were reviewed and approved,” Herman told FOX 8.

In response, Havens asked, “How has this book been in your class or your school for six years and the teachers and the principals and the board were unaware of it? That’s egregious.” 

Havens and other parents say they have serious questions about the ethical and moral standing of any school employee who would knowingly assign the writing journal to a student.

“Who does that? It’s just mind-blowing and poor judgment,” said Havens.

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