A private school in Minneapolis, Minnesota took their students on a field trip to an adult novelty store and parents were pissed. The class, which was made up of about a dozen middle and high school-aged students, participated in a workshop allowing them to ask educators questions and learn about safer sex products. The trip to Smitten Kitten was the conclusion to a sex education class.
Starri Hedges, who teaches the sex-ed class and is also the school’s director, wanted to give students a safe place to learn about human sexuality. “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,” she told the the Star Tribune. Anything in the store that was considered to be pornographic was off limits, but sex toys were still visible.
According to their website, Gaia’s philosophy is to provide “holistic educational services to students K-12 with emphasis on democratic process, individualized instruction, academic freedom, self-motivation, cooperative learning, youth empowerment, and environmental stewardship.” The school is very small, with about 25 students currently enrolled.
Parents weren’t advised of the trip beforehand and some decided to pull their kids from the progressive institution. “It’s just a major breach of trust,” said Lynn Floyd, who removed his daughters—ages 11 and 13—after finding out about the excursion. Since Gaia is a private school, the state doesn’t have any kind of authority. “I don’t think anybody would think that going to the Smitten Kitten is a great idea,” Josh Collins, a spokesman with the Minnesota Department of Education had said.
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