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The book, “642 Things to Write About” has writing prompts to get those creative juices flowing such as:

Write a sex scene you wouldn’t show your mom.

Describe a time when you wanted to orgasm but couldn’t.

Write an X-rated Disney scenario.

Write a scene that begins: ‘It was the first time I killed a man.’

You are a serial killer. What TV shows are on your DVR list? Why?

Apparently the book was part of a college level writing course that was being taught at the high school.

I dunno if giving students a workbook which has sexual content qualifies as "child pornography", but those do seem rather inappropriate. Unless you want your kid to start their porn writing career off early and right. Or to imagine themselves as a serial killer.

https://www.cleveland.com/akron/2021/09/hudson-mayor-craig-shubert-parents-call-for-resignation-of-hudson-school-board-teachers-after-students-receive-book-of-inappropriate-writing-prompts.html

ETA: If this is the incorrect circle, please let me know. I wasn't sure where this fit in.

The book, “642 Things to Write About” has writing prompts to get those creative juices flowing such as: Write a sex scene you wouldn’t show your mom. Describe a time when you wanted to orgasm but couldn’t. Write an X-rated Disney scenario. Write a scene that begins: ‘It was the first time I killed a man.’ You are a serial killer. What TV shows are on your DVR list? Why? Apparently the book was part of a college level writing course that was being taught at the high school. I dunno if giving students a workbook which has sexual content qualifies as "child pornography", but those do seem rather inappropriate. Unless you want your kid to start their porn writing career off early and right. Or to imagine themselves as a serial killer. https://www.cleveland.com/akron/2021/09/hudson-mayor-craig-shubert-parents-call-for-resignation-of-hudson-school-board-teachers-after-students-receive-book-of-inappropriate-writing-prompts.html ETA: If this is the incorrect circle, please let me know. I wasn't sure where this fit in.

53 comments

Reading and writing are two different things. One action is passive, the other is active.

I also don' t understand what difference it makes if adults read that stuff or not: the problem is them writing that stuff to begin with.

As for the book: a school board is supposed to propose appropriate stuff according to the age of the participants. They could have chosen another book or list of prompts if they were just encouraging kinds to write, instead they chose one that included this stuff.

So you'd just say "this book is desgined for a course for adults, don't write things for this class using the adult prompts"

Did they do that?

I don't know if they did.

I also don' t understand what difference it makes if adults read that stuff or not: the problem is them writing that stuff to begin with.

Now it's my turn to ask if you're serious! :P But there is a huge difference! I'm thinking more of the sexual stuff here. Teens are gonna write that stuff anyway (source: was teen), especially since if I've read rightly these are 16 year olds. A teacher reading it, however, is making it seem normal to discuss fantasy scenarios involving sex with an older adult. That's grooming them into sexual activity with an adult and ofc totally inappropriate.

The anxiety over writing about violence is something peculiar to America, I think, and possibly due to lack of gun-control.

A teacher reading it, however, is making it seem normal to discuss fantasy scenarios involving sex with an older adult. That's grooming them into sexual activity with an adult and ofc totally inappropriate.

A teacher giving that prompt so casually is making it normal and grooming just as much, that' s my point. If they had at least pretended to put limitations it would be one thing, but if this conversation is happening it means that the teachers haven' t even said "just avoid those". They gave this book to underage kids and put every prompt in there at the same level.

The anxiety over writing about violence is something peculiar to America, I think, and possibly due to lack of gun-control.

I am not American, so no. I am also not against "writing about violence", but there is a huge difference between generic violence and "how would you kill people?" prompts. Writing a scene in a story in which there is a huge battle, for example, is putting the action on characters that don' t really exist. If you wrote about a murder, it doesn' t necessarily mean that you have to be graphic.

But if you were writing a story about how you would kill someone, you would have to put yourself in the character' s shoes and describe the thing in details.

One person, doing it, even if it' s a kid, because they' re interested in the topic might be worrying, but it would be something done out of their own ideas. A person in a power/responsibility position such as a teacher going "here' s an idea, pretend you' re a serial killer and write a story about it" and to underage kids, is frankly appalling.

Again, it's a book with 600+ prompts over loads of subjects. If it were focused on sex or gore, I'd agree that was weird, but it's normal to give teens that age adult educational resources because they tend to be a bit less shit (especially if the teens need materials that actually stretch them). There isn't any information about how the teachers presented it, just that a man thinks a whole board should resign over teens having received the book at all.

I disagree with your stance that trying to imagine a scene from the perspective of a serial killer causes any kind of real-world harm; it's normal enough to wonder wtf goes through their heads so I wouldn't see writing about it as a sign of admiration, and people often wonder about how someone would commit a crime without wanting to DIY; we wouldn't have any detective novels otherwise. There are a lot of ways to treat a writing prompt so I wouldn't personally assume that someone is going to write in graphic detail about violence based on a single-sentence prompt, but I also think that writing horror scenes doesn't say anything about someone's behaviour. I don't get how someone is supposed to teach kids to interpret and engage with literature if one treats reading as a completely different activity from writing, and to me if you're fine with someone reading a book or watching a film, it makes no sense to act like the same themes are too adult for them to write about.