Two Ohio lawmakers say Kent State assigned pornographic book to an underaged college student

Updated: Oct. 6, 2020 at 10:25 PM EDT
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KENT, Ohio (WOIO) - Two state representatives are calling on Kent State University to stop assigning adult-oriented material to minors.

While most college students are adults, Kent State University has a program that allows students in grades 7-12 to take classes for college credit. One father was furious after his high school student was given a reading assignment with the racy material. Kent State claims the parents consented to it.

“It’s way beyond pornography,” said State Rep. Reggie Stoltzfus. “It’s violent. It’s dark. It’s violent sexual acts. The pictures are very twisted. You know somebody with a twisted mind had to come up with this stuff. It talks about raping high school-aged girls, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.”

Rep. Stoltzfus and Representative Don Jones sent a letter to the university urging them to stop assigning adult-related material to underaged students and to review their policies, so this doesn’t happen again.

“We’re promoting it at this university,” said Stoltzfus. “We’re promoting sexual violence.”

Lawmakers say the book, ‘Anime from Akira to Howl’s Moving Castle: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation,’ is pornographic in nature.

“I let the university know that the material is unacceptable and apparently they think it is acceptable so if it’s acceptable, all my friends in the general assembly are going to receive a copy of this book courtesy of me, and we’re gonna look through this book, and we’re gonna decide if this university is worthy of giving 150 million dollars of taxpayer dollars to it every year,” Representative Stoltzfus vowed.

19 News reached out to Kent State for an interview, they declined our request but did send us a written statement, “We are aware of an objection raised about a reading and assignment in a Freshman Composition course.

To engage students in the importance, power, and beauty of writing, the composition faculty offers many sections of Freshman Composition, some with themes they believe will be particularly interesting to college-aged students. Not all sections have a theme, and students are free to choose a section as they see fit.

A section of the composition course, titled College Writing I: Social Issues through Anime, teaches college-level writing through the prism of critical social issues prevalent in this internationally popular art form, such as mental health challenges, stereotypes, violence, and relations between men and women.

The assigned text is related to the subject matter and prepares the class for dialogue about themed issues. Faculty have academic freedom to communicate ideas for discussion and learning to fulfill the course objectives.

All students in the College Credit Plus program, as well as their legal guardian, must sign an acknowledgment that materials in a course may include mature adult themes before they enroll in a course.

Please be assured that we take student complaints very seriously and encourage the use of our established policies, procedures, and student support avenues for resolution. Students should be aware of our policies for the resolution of student complaints on the Kent Campus and on our regional campuses and that our student ombuds office is available to help them navigate that process.”

Representative Stoltzfus said there are two issues: the student who refused to do this assignment received a zero. He is insisting the student get an alternate assignment. The second is that this material be removed from the course completely.

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