Some parents are outraged after the leader of a small Minneapolis private school took about a dozen middle- and high-school-aged students on a sex education field trip to an adult novelty store late last week.
“It’s just a major breach of trust,” said Lynn Floyd, whose 11- and 13-year-old daughters were part of the outing to the Smitten Kitten. “You just can’t erase those images.”
A leader of Gaia Democratic School and the host of the field trip defended the outing, saying the visit capped a monthslong sex education class.
Director Starri Hedges, who also teaches the school’s sex education class, said she wanted to provide a safe and welcoming environment for students to learn about human sexual behavior.
“What I saw happening on our trip, I thought it was beautiful because kids could talk to these sex educators without any shame, without any fear,” Hedges said Monday.
Gaia is a K-12 school with a motto promising academic freedom, youth empowerment and democratic education. Parents say the school has about 25 students....
While at Smitten Kitten, students sat in the front in a library section of the store, Hedges said. Everything deemed pornographic was off limits to the students, though sex toys and other products were visible, Hedges said.
The field trip offered students access to educators and products that could be used to practice safer sex, Hedges said. Some students bought condoms, she said.
Smitten Kitten, which bills itself as “a progressive sex toy store for everyone,” sells a range of toys and leather products as well as books and DVDs. The store also offers workshops, like the kind the students participated in.
“The sexual health aspect, there is no right age for all kids,” Hedges said. “You can’t say, ‘All kids should know this at this age.’ There are students that are already going through puberty at 10 or 11.”
Floyd said he is most troubled that parents were never notified before the trip. “I just struggled to think that I wasn’t involved in that,” he said.
The store’s owner, Jennifer Pritchett, said in an e-mail Monday that she considers Smitten Kitten to be “an educational resource about sex and sexuality. … We leave it up to the discretion of parents and guardians as to when, if, and in what capacity they seek resources from our educators.”Not sure what qualifies employees at an adult novelty shop to be "sex educators" as Hedges calls them.
Smitten Kitten was cited by Minneapolis zoning officials for having sexually explicit materials that were not in a separate section of the store. Because that adult material was not covered up, minors should not have been there according to city officials. Smitten Kitten was not fined but merely told to fix the violations.
And your point is.......that this is a common occurrence in Minneapolis and other progressive cities... That it's typical of those who support sex ed ....That it shows the general depravity of Minnesotans...That sex ed is a conspiracy to make kids into sex addicts...that sex ed corrupts young people and we should educate them about sex like the Duggar family educates their kids? I guess you'll have to enlighten me, Paul.
The teacher took a bunch of pre-teens to an adult toy store without their parents' permission, Anon 3:43. And you want me to "enlighten" you on what's wrong with that? Seriously?
If I bought a bottle of wine at
Walmart, does that make the cashier a sommelier?
This epitomizes the low brow design of public "education."
Private school... nothing public about this....
Anon 5:45: Thank you for the correction.
Mr. Boggs and Prof. Ogden:
I've been thinking about this quite a bit, and I am a bit confused... hoping that you can enlighten me.
As Anon 5:45 points out, this is a PRIVATE school. Accordingly, doesn't all of your "conservative, free market" reflex kick in? If parents want to send their kids to a school that takes 11-13 year old kids to a sex toy shop, what business of ours is it? Shouldn't you "let the market decide?" Are you insinuating that you want increased regulation over private enterprise? I find that hard to believe.
Or, and this is just a guess, you just want to take a swipe at things you perceive to be "liberal," including teachers and schools of all kind that are not related to a religion that you personally favor (heaven forbid an Islamic school get public funding, but an evangelical school is perfectly OK, right?).
Maybe I'm wrong. I hope so. Please, explain your good faith reason for posting with outrage about how certain parties (families, parents) privately contracted for certain services (private education, at a school called the "Gaia Democratic School" -- parents, if you didn't think you were sending your kids to a liberal/hippy school, were you thinking at all?).
Given the hostile state of relations between the sexes, the kids may be better of learning to go solo.
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