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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Michael Reagan: Minn. School Stands Behind Sex Shop Field Trip


Michael Reagan


Minn. School Stands Behind Sex Shop Field Trip

By Michael Reagan

Let's say you're a good, solid Minnesota "progressive." You worry about "social justice" and inequality and always make sure you hurry to open the door for "people of color" because you don't want to take advantage of "white privilege."

But at the same time you don't want your children to have to pay the price now for your hope of an egalitarian paradise in the future, so you're looking to enroll them in a private school because the government schools are dangerous and chaotic.

And you're in luck! You find the Gaia Democratic School that's well within the out and back range of your Nissan Leaf. What's more, the school looks perfect. The name "Gaia" just screams sustainable and earth–friendly. Plus the director's first name is Starri and the school is located in a Unitarian Church, so there won't be any exposure to micro–aggressors like crosses, crucifixes, Bibles, or nuns.

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You can bet Ted Cruz won't be giving the commencement address here anytime soon. And little Belgium's creativity won't be stifled by soul–deadening uniforms or the Pledge of Allegiance. So how fast can you write that tuition check?

That's why I'm having trouble understanding how parents can be shocked that a leftist school promising "academic freedom, youth empowerment, and democratic education" lived up to its credo by taking students to a retail sex shop as part of "Sexual Health" class. It's not like it was a whorehouse.

The Smitten Kitten, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, is described by its owner as "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." The store stocks "sex toys, condoms, leather products, and DVDs."

School Director Starri Hedges didn't respond directly to outraged parents but the school's board of directors said it "stands behind the premise of the field trip. We view it as a legitimate learning experience that relates directly to topics covered during our yearlong Sexual Health class."

And the students were certainly empowered. A few marched right up to the cash register and bought condoms before the class returned to Gaia Headquarters. But for some reason a group of parents has gone all parental on the school.

Why if I didn't know better I would have thought someone suggested children participate in a morning prayer. Lynn Floyd, a Gaia parent, called the police and "filed a complaint with Minneapolis police accusing Hedges of exposing children to pornographic material. The police report recommends further investigation."

An angry Floyd demanded, "I want her [Starri Hedges] done and out, and that school closed. I want her away from children. It's borderline predation."

That may be so, but the trip certainly wasn't a case of false advertising. "Sexual health" classes are as progressive as progressive gets. This is a case of parents flunking out and not doing their homework.

Michael Reagan is the son of former President Ronald Reagan and chairman of the League of American Voters. His blog appears on

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