A school field trip to the Smitten Kitten adult toy store is raising some eyebrows, and may soon involve the Minneapolis Police Department. School leaders at Gaia Democratic School in Minneapolis still fully support the trip to the Smitten Kitten in Uptown, a self-proclaimed "progressive sex toy store for everyone."
That support isn't sitting well with Lynn Floyd, who at the time of the trip was sending his three kids to the school. He was so upset after learning two of his daughters, ages 11 and 13, were on that field trip, he pulled all three from the school. He also filed a police report, accusing the school's leadership of exposing minors to pornographic material. Additionally, he is considering filing a lawsuit against the school.
Floyd said he originally enrolled his kids at the private school because of its emphasis on academic freedom and student-led instruction. The school, on its website, describes its philosophy as follows:
"Gaia is a private school that provides 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. We are part of an education movement that has a long, fascinating history and a vibrant, viable future."
Floyd claims this field trip crossed a line.
"I wanted our children to grow up and remain children as long as possible," Floyd said.
Floyd said last week, the school's sex education teacher took about a dozen middle and high school students -- Gaia is a K-12 school -- to the store. His kids came home and shared what they had seen, but he didn't know anything about the trip before it was already over. Then, Floyd withdrew his daughters, including a 3-year-old who also attends the school.
The sex education teacher is also the school's director, and wouldn't talk to Fox 9 when asked for comment.
The school board posted a letter to its website saying it stands behind the field trip and it views it as a legitimate learning experience that relates directly to topics covered during a year-long sexual health class.
"Despite the burst of publicity in our last weeks of school, Gaia Democratic School's board of directors 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. Our inclass discussions paved the way to a store visit and the participants communicated to us that the trip was a positive educational experience. No student was required to attend," the statement reads, in part.
FULL STATEMENT: [PDF]
The owner of the Smitten Kitten said in a statement, "the store is a resource for sound science based sex-ed information, and leaves it up to parents and guardians to use their discretion when seeking resources."
A Minneapolis zoning inspector visited the Smitten Kitten this week because minors were inside. The inspector found some sexually explicit material that should have been covered up that a store clerk says they have since taken care of.
Floyd remains upset and maintains he wants "justice."