Parents in Minneapolis are outraged today after Gaia Democratic School director and sex ed. teacher Starri Hedges took a group of students, some as young as 11-years-old, to “Smitten Kitten,” an adult novelty store, in the name of “sexual education.”
Ms. Hedges stated that the trip was meant to educate the children as to the products that they can use to practice safer sex, but one parent didn’t see it that way. Lynn Floyd had two children, ages 11 and 13, who attended the trip. She has since withdrawn her daughters from the school, citing a severe “breach of trust.”
The sex education teacher said that she “unfortunately didn’t communicate well enough with parents ahead of time” about the trip. However, she also had this to say: “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.”
Though they were sitting in the library section of the adult store, sex toys and other items were in full view of the students, while everything deemed “pornographic” was off limits to them. Some students did buy condoms, according to Hedges.
Despite the backlash, she said that she would PROBABLY not take another group of students to the store. “It was certainly the first time we have taken that kind of field trip and it will probably be our last, which I feel bad [about] because the kids had so much fun,” Hedges said.
After this story broke, the Smitten Kitten was investigated and found to be in violation of the city code. It was revealed that explicit materials within full view of the minors, and that they were not isolated to a separate section of the shop, both of which are deemed to be violations. No fines or penalties were issued, but the store was ordered to remedy the problems.