Teacher Gives Student a Sex Ed Lesson They Will Never Forget
byEricka SouterJun 11, 2015
I don't know one parent who doesn't dread the day they will have to explain the birds and the bees to their children. The thought of our kids even thinking about sex is unsettling, to say the least. As panic-inducing as it may be, it's inevitable. Many of us find solace in the fact that most grade-school curriculum offer some assistance in this area. Much of the mechanics are covered in health class. However, one educator is under fire for taking the sex education too far.
Starri Hedges, an administrator at the Gaia Democratic School in Minneapolis, took a dozen middle- and high-school students on a field trip to the adult novelty store Smitten Kitten. You know, the kind that sells dildos, nipple clamps, edible underwear, etc. Hedges insist that the pornographic items were out of sight. Even so, it isn't surprising parents were outraged. One mother, whose 11- and 13-year-old daughters were taken to the shop, called it a "major breach of trust … you can't erase those images."
I can't imagine the look on the faces of those children as they took in the array of sex toys. But there is a method to this madness, according to Hedges. She wanted to provide a safe and welcoming environment for them to learn about sex. Well, I can think of many other "safe and welcoming" environments to introduce students to the topic. What about showing films or reading novels on the subject, then having an open discussion with the kids? Taking them to a sex shop seems a bit too in-your-face, doesn't it?
But just to play devil's advocate for a moment, maybe Hedges is on to something. Our kids are growing up in a culture where everything is shared on social media. There used to be a time when they had to search out their dad's well-hidden nudie magazines in order to get a glimpse of risqué material. Today, of course, it's a different story. They can access the Internet at home, the public library, school, even on phones—as a result, an entire world of human sexuality is open to them. So perhaps visiting this sex shop with a trained educator will facilitate conversation that could be good for them.
It's still a tough sell, I know. I can't imagine my 11-year-old coming home and telling me about crotchless panties and butt plugs. But fact of the matter is, our children are confronted with sex and sexual behavior at an early age. Even Facebook has over 50 designations for sexual preference. Not to mention the "Free the Nipple" campaign (it's now legal for women in New York City to go shirtless) and the fact that our kids' favorite stars are just as likely to have a sex tape as a clothing line. In this day and age, it's clear that the talk about the birds and the bees has to include so much more than it once did.
Would you ever consider taking your kid to a sex shop to help them understand sexual behavior?