Oh goodie!! A fire hydrant to Brian!! Wait? You use that fire hydrant for what? It goes where?!?!?
Any parent that sends their kids to Gaia Democratic School,…, ought to not be surprised or outraged when something like this happens.

"Democratic education is an educational approach grounded in respect for human rights and a broad interpretation of learning, in which young people have the freedom to organize their daily activities, and in which there is equality and democratic decision-making among young people and adults."

I'm not saying this visit was necessarily a bad thing. Not something I'd want my kids to do, but then again I don't send my kids to Gaia Democratic School where you'd expect this type of thing to happen.
I'd say the parents had a legitimate reason to be pissed if only for the APPALLINGLY bad judgement displayed by the teacher not realizing this would blow up in their face. If the school wanted to bring sex for pleasure into the sex-ed curriculum it would have been better to bring a representative from Smitten Kitten to the store to give a brief presentation, show some pre-approved items available at these stores, and answer questions. As for buying condoms, that could have been done at any convenience store, pharmacy, etc.
Like @2 said, how can you send your kid to the "Gaia Democratic School" and still be alarmed by sex education, even in this (albeit atypical) form?
No way. How does this even make sense? Isn't it illegal to go into a sex shop if you're under 18?

But besides that, aren't field trips a total hassle to organize what with the permission slips (do they still do that?), transportation, not losing kids...
Hey, I'm about as sex-positive and loosey-goosey as a father can be, and even I think this was a dumb idea. I wouldn't sue the school or anything, but I would give that teacher a piece of my mind for taking my middle schooler to a sex shop without asking me. And I just might use some pret-ty salty language.
How did they not have a permission slip, like every other field trip schoolkids ever go on?
yeah, the nature of the school would seem to matter quite a bit. This is not your run-of-the-mill school. If you send your kids to a democratic school, you know (or should know) that weird things can happen. I don't know Gaia, but in a typical democratic school, the field trip would have been agreed on and planned together with the students.
If you don't want those kinds of surprises, 99% of other schools will do. As several people have pointed out, most other schools will run through a whole bureaucratic field-trip maneuver.
I'm so glad I'm not a parent. I was given my first sex-ed lesson at age 5 by a neighbor boy (gay son of a Methodist preacher) who diagrammed everything for me on a chalkboard. By age 13 I was reading "Looking for Mr. Goodbar" (yes, I just aged myself) and could have used some sex-positive messages at that point. I can't even imagine what kids are up to now. Good on that teacher.
I should add @9 that my parents were completely clueless about all of the above, as I'm sure most parents are who are currently clutching their pearls over this.
Dan, what's wrong?
So while you always preach that communication is key here you're just letting it go? When I want to stick a finger up a new gfs ass I ask! Because while I know that it's gonna be just grrrrreat maybe she's a bit slow. Maybe she needs to be made aware of what's coming. Same here. I don't mind the what but the how makes my skin crawl.

First year teacher? Second year? I hope so! Cause later on there's very little that could excuse this kind of recklessness. If only enough parents are pissed off that they weren't asked and pull their kids out they'll have to close down. She didn't think it through and now other people might lose their job. Not cool!
I'm a parent, and it wasn't that long ago that my kids were in high school.

If I sent my kids to a school like this, I would certainly have expected that sex-for-pleasure would be part of the sex-ed curriculum. I would have expected to be given a heads-up that the visit was happening. And I would have been fine with it - for the high schoolers for sure, and depending on their ages, for the younger kids. Are we talking 13, or are we talking 10?

I don't really see that this is especially reckless, and I frankly don't really see what all the fuss is about. I hope the parents who don't have a problem with this are making as much noise as the others.
I read this and can't help remembering the scene where Babcock finds Patrick in the middle of playing fishies at the progressive school. In that case, it was the non-parent who was outraged; in this case, I agree with those who point out that a progressive, democratic school is going to be giving very different lessons from what you'd get at a St.Grottlesex institution and if you, as parent, don't know that ahead of time what are you doing raising kids in the first place?
The funny thing is that I thought of taking my teenage daughter into that place with her mother, but I didn't know if we'd be instantly thrown out...

According to the article I read here locally, the youngest child was 11...
“You just can’t erase those images.”

And you shouldn't. Kids should see condoms and know what they're for. That's what a sex education class should instruct.
Also, I wonder how many of the complainants are actually parents of students of that school.
The school director (and sex educator)'s name is Starri Hedges?

There's too many bad jokes waiting in that one.
I am the teacher you are talking about. My mother named me Starri and I am proud of my 20+ years as a sexual health educator. The media sensationalized this story and we have been under attack by the right wing ever since. Don't believe the hype--Sex Ed Empowers YOUth! Find the truth about our field trip here:…​
or at
I am standing up for my self, youth rights, and sexual health educators everywhere!
Real sex ed empowers kids to make informed decisions about their lives and their health!
Go Gaia!!!…
I think this story was twisted and blown way out of proportion! Smitten kitten is a renounced educational resource and other well known sexual health classes (OWL) take their students there for a class at the end of the year too. This is a case of people projecting their issues with sex onto the school.

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