In the presumably fictitious short story entitled "Shower Power Hippie Man," a 9-year-old named Michele and a group of girls her own age frequently sneak to a nearby neighborhood to watch a grown man take a shower. On one such occasion, the girls witness the man masturbate until he orgasms.
"He kept yanking and pulling, pulling and yanking, and slowly, like Tia Annie's Boston terrier, it stood up, stood out, stood red, different from any other body part we'd ever seen in our lives," the narrator describes. "An alien tentacle from another planet. He continued to lather. ...
"Shower Power Hippie Man's face slowly grew violent, and anger began to envelope his usual calm," the narrator continues. "And suddenly, like the volcano in the film we saw in Mr. Larkey's geography class, he exploded. I mean, right then and there in his shower, his house, in front of us, in front of our horrified eyes.
"Thick twinkie cream ringlets spurted here, there, everywhere."
Tomas Mijares — a teacher at James Logan High School in Union City, California, about a half-hour southeast of Oakland — assigned his students to read this short story and to answer a few questions about it. Perhaps the most disturbing question asks students to summarize the events of the story and explain what Michele is describing using "lines from the text" to support their answers. Students also had to identify at least two unfamiliar vocabulary words that appear in the story, a prompt that could invite further sexual discussion. The final question asks students to consider the "importance of routines" in their "everyday lives," a rather banal topic considering the content of the short story and the other provocative questions.
One question also incorrectly labels the short story a "poem."
James Logan Principal Ron Polk has since issued a statement to parents, Libs of TikTok reported. In the statement, Polk assured parents that the "completely inappropriate" assignment had been "withdrawn" and that Mijares had been "placed on leave pending a comprehensive investigation."
New Haven Unified Superintendent John Thompson responded to Libs of TikTok's request for comment and reiterated that he was "just as outraged as our parents" about that "particular reading selection."
"The District began an immediate investigation, it is ongoing, and the District will provide as much information as it can as soon as it can," Thompson added.
Mijares has reportedly taught at the school for nine years and is still listed as a staff member on the school website. When the assignment was given, when Mijares was placed on leave, and whether Mijares will continue to collect a salary during the investigation all remain unclear.
The following news clip from KPIX-TV discusses a stabbing that occurred at James Logan High School in February 2019: