Why has a writing prompt book by the name of 642 Things To Write About – designed to “get the creative juices flowing” – led the mayor of Hudson, Ohio to demand that a school’s board members “resign or be charged”?
What is 642 Things To Write About, and why is it in the news today?
Compiled by the San Francisco Writers Grotto, a creative community of writers and artists based in the Bay Area, 642 Things To Write About is a collection of, you guessed it, 642 “outrageous and witty writing prompts”.
It promises to “get the creative juices flowing in no time”. The collection includes prompts to write one’s own obituary, pen an ode to an onion and, apparently, to “write a sex scene you wouldn’t show your mom”.
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Until Monday this week, a high school in Hudson, Ohio was using the book in its senior College Credit Plus writing class.
However, at a school board meeting held on Monday, several parents expressed their grievances about the use of the book to educate their children.
642 Things To Write About controversy explained
Among the 600+ prompts in the book are some which Hudson City Schools Superintendent Phil Herman described as “inappropriate and offensive”.
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One parent mentioned three of them during the meeting. “Write a sex scene you wouldn’t show your mom,” Ms Haven recounted to the school board.
“Rewrite the sex scene from above into one that you let your mom read. Describe your favourite part of a man’s body using only verbs.”
What did Hudson mayor Craig Shubert say at the school board meeting?
Hudson mayor Craig Shubert claimed that the writing prompts amounted to “child pornography”. However, he didn’t produce any evidence to support the claim.
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“So I’m going to give you a simple choice,” he threatened the members of the school board. “Either choose to resign from this board of education or you will be charged.”
None of the prompts were ever assigned as part of the class. None of the school’s board members has announced plans to resign.
Twitter reacts to the 642 Things controversy
Mayor Shubert’s statement was met with thunderous applause from the parents in attendance. Twitter’s reaction, however, has been characteristically irreverent. One user described it as “authoritarian cuckoo bananas”.
Another branded it “political theatre“. Several others have taken the opportunity to share their own experiences of writing creatively, while in high school, about the subjects deemed inappropriate by those in uproar following the 642 Things controversy.
One reports receiving an extra credit and having their work read aloud to the class, after writing about underage drinking. Another wrote the following:
Those hunting for a pdf of 642 Things To Write About may have to satisfy themselves with this list of 100 prompts from in the book.
Top 4 642 things to write about controversy Synthesized by BSS news
642 things to write about controversy whats the issue
- : tiktok.com
- : 11/26/2022
- : 4.86 (899 vote)
- : 642 things to write about controversy whats the issue · 1.1M views · Discover videos related to 642 things to write about controversy whats the issue on TikTok.
What’s really at stake in the ‘642 Things to Write About’ uproar in Hudson: Judi Nath
- : cleveland.com
- : 02/13/2023
- : 4.66 (483 vote)
- : Hudson Mayor Craig Shubert was upset that Hudson High School students enrolled in a college-level class were using a book called “642 Things to …
Some parents in Hudson believe outrage over writing prompt book is out of line
- : news5cleveland.com
- : 12/03/2022
- : 4.26 (337 vote)
- : The book titled ‘642 Things to Write About’ contains writing prompts with topics some consider to be inappropriate for high school students. Now …
- : “It is a college-level course and kids need to have a certain level of maturity to handle that. And I think parents also need to have a certain level of maturity to let their children handle that because once you get to college, you’re not involved …
Timeline of events in Hudson book controversy following mayor’s threat to charge school board
- : beaconjournal.com
- : 05/30/2023
- : 4.1 (438 vote)
- : Hudson High School Principal Brian Wilch said parents notified him about inappropriate writing prompts being used in a book called “642 Things …
- : The Hudson City School District remains in the national spotlight after Mayor Craig Shubert last month called on board members to resign or potentially face criminal charges over a book provided to high school seniors in a college-level writing …