MINNEAPOLIS — A sex education teacher has drawn the ire of parents after taking middle – and high-school students on a field trip to an adult novelty store in Minneapolis.
Gaia Democratic School director Starri Hedges took about a dozen students to the Smitten Kitten last week. Hedges told the Star Tribune that she wanted to provide a safe environment for students to learn about human sexual behavior.
Besides offering adult books, videos, toys and other products, the store also has educational workshops, which the students attended.
“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. Some of her students bought condoms, she said.
The small K-12 school has a motto that promises academic freedom, youth empowerment and democratic education. Parents say it has about 25 students. Tax records show the school, housed in a Unitarian church, has an annual budget of about $100,000.
Parent Lynn Floyd’s 11- and 13-year-old daughters were on the field trip. Floyd says the trip was “a major breach of trust” and has withdrawn his children from the school. 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.