The Town of Hudson School District remains in the nationwide spotlight after Mayor Craig Shubert last month called on board members to step down or face criminal charges over a book provided to the high school students in a college-level writing course.

Shubert wrongly accused the district of distributing “essentially… child pornography”.

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A group of parents attended the September 13 board meeting to raise concerns about some writing prompts in the “642 Things to Write” book. Among the prompts in question: “Write a sex scene that you wouldn’t show your mother.”

Here’s a timeline of the book’s controversy with links to the Akron Beacon Journal cover.

September 10: Hudson schools receive “642 things to write” complaint

Hudson High School principal Brian Wilch said parents informed him of the use of inappropriate writing prompts in a book called “642 Things to Write” provided to high school students taking a credited college course called Writing in the Liberal Arts II. The course is offered in association with Hiram College, but is taught by a Hudson teacher in the Hudson High School building.

September 13: Parents complain, Mayor Shubert calls for resignation of school board

At the Hudson Board of Education meeting, Wilch said he and his team apologized to parents and removed the books from the course.

At that same meeting, many parents complained about the prompts, calling them “disgusting” and claiming they were examples of the “preparation” and “sexualization” of students.

Sample prompts: “Write a sex scene that you wouldn’t show your mom” and one that said “Rewrite the sex scene from above into a scene that you would let your mom read”.

Mayor Craig Shubert addressed the board and asked them to resign or possibly face criminal charges for distributing what he called “essentially… child pornography”.

September 14: Superintendent issues statement

District Superintendent Phil Herman issued a statement saying some of the prompts were not appropriate for high school students. He said an investigation is underway to determine how these additional documents were reviewed and approved, and whether further action needs to be taken.

September 15: the board of directors refuses to resign

Education Council Chairman David Zuro issued a prepared statement in which he said Council members have no intention of resigning. He also acknowledged that the writing prompts were not appropriate for high school students.

Full declaration:Text of the statement of the president of the Hudson school board on the question of the book

September 16: threats against board members reported

The school district reported to police that members of the education council had received threatening emails. Board members have “received emails of a threatening nature,” said Jennifer Reece, communications manager for the district.

September 17: No child pornography

Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh said the write prompts are not child pornography, but said her office is now investigating whether the write prompts violate other laws, as well as if statements made at the board meeting or threats to the school board members violated state law.

Controversy over Hudson’s book:Did the writing prompts in the Hudson classroom constitute child pornography or some other crime?

September 21: Council members ask for apology, residents criticize Shubert

Some members of Hudson City Council criticized the mayor. Three of them demanded an apology from the city, the city’s schools and the Board of Education, staff, teachers and students. Hudson City Council Chairman Bill Wooldredge said he has a close family friend whose life has been threatened. None of the council members said they supported what the mayor said.

Four residents spoke out on the issue: three said they supported the mayor and one opposed him and called on him to either apologize or resign.

Before the residents and council spoke, Shubert made a prepared statement in which he defended what he did.

“You may find fault with my post and / or its delivery, but you cannot challenge my principles for standing up for children in our community,” Shubert said.

The mayor did not respond to any of the comments from council members or the call for an apology.

Opinion:Hudson mayor widens political divide by intimidating school board into resigning or facing charges

A large crowd of masked individuals support Hudson City School board members at the start of a school board meeting in the Hudson High School auditorium on Monday, September 27 in Hudson, Ohio. [Jeff Lange/Beacon Journal]

September 27: a large crowd supports the board of directors

Over 400 people attended the Hudson Board of Education meeting and a large majority gave the board a standing ovation to show their support for the board.

Shubert’s predecessors, former Hudson mayors Bill Currin and David Basil, presented a joint statement to the board.

Basil urged the public to refrain from unsubstantiated accusations and to condemn the threats that had been made against board members and district officials.

“Let us support all of our teachers, school administration, staff and board members as together we continue to work hard to ensure the recognized and continuing excellence of our public schools and the continued greatness of our community.” , said Basil.

Hudson City School District Superintendent Phil Herman answers a question at an Education Council meeting in August.  The district is reviewing its process for adding books to the high school library after several parents complained about the contents of a few books in the library.  The district withdraws the books from circulation.

September 29: District announces more book reviews

Superintendent Herman announces that Hudson has removed a few books from the high school library as officials review the process of adding books to the shelves.

At a recent school board meeting, a parent said she objected to the inclusion of Jonathan Evison’s book “Lawn Boy” in the library’s collection. She noted that the book had a lot of sexual content that she deemed inappropriate for students.

“I am deeply disturbed by the content that has come to our attention, especially the overtly sexual drawings,” Herman said.

October 6: the mayor faces a recall effort

Resident Karen Farkas announced that she and other residents have started a petition to remove the mayor. She also said the recall effort would be stopped if Shubert issued a public apology for his statement.

October 10: Emails detail huge national response to mayor’s request

Shubert’s threats to the board sparked a big backlash from across the country based on emails sent to the mayor and school board.

The Akron Beacon Journal obtained 1,200 pages of posts thanks to a public record request to the city and school district.

People across the country praised the mayor as a hero for standing up for school children, the emails revealed.

But in Hudson, many residents said they were angry and embarrassed by the mayor.