By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A field trip to an adult novelty shop without consent has caused some parents to pull their children from a private school in Minneapolis.

Students from Gaia Democratic School went to Smitten Kitten for a field trip, following a month-long sex education class.

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Some parents say they were not notified and are asking tough questions of the school’s administration.

Gaia Democratic School’s motto is academic freedom, youth empowerment and democratic education. Its website says students will learn together in fun and freedom.

The K-12 private school has about 25 students, but now there are three fewer after parents took them out of the school.

In a letter sent to principal Starri Hedges and the Gaia board, Lynn Floyd gave an account of why he and his ex-wife pulled his three girls, ages 9, 11 and 13, from the school.

“We feel that the bond of trust between parent and educator has been irrevocably damaged,” Floyd wrote in the letter.

Floyd said his girls, along with several other underage children, were allowed to tour the store, interact with Smitten Kitten staff and purchase sexual products.

He learned about the trip from his children after he said they had been traumatized by products, discussions and images.

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In a statement, Smitten Kitten’s owner Jennifer Pritchett said her store is an educational resource about sex and sexuality for the community:

“We leave it up to the discretion of parents and guardians as to when, and in what capacity, they seek resources from our educators.”

School officials did not return our calls.

Floyd said all he wants is an investigation into the decision-making process that allowed the field trip to an adult novelty store for minors without specific parental consent.

Because minors were in the store, the city of Minneapolis sent a license and zoning inspector to Smitten Kitten.

The owner was issued notices for having sexually explicit materials that were not in a separate section of the store.

Inspectors say because that adult material was not covered up, minors should not have been there.

Smitten Kitten will not be fined, but it was told to fix the violations.

The Department of Education says it has no jurisdiction over the school since it is private.

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The school does have a board of directors, but there’s no word from them or the school administration about why the decision was made to take minors to an adult store.

Reg Chapman