01/22/2013 01:27 EST | Updated 03/24/2013 05:12 EDT

Paramount Strip Club Campaign By Students Needs More Research


Since when did adults take their morality cues from teenagers still in high school? You may have seen the recent media reports of students from Charles Best Secondary School in Coquitlam, B.C. trying to shut down the Paramount Gentlemen's Club in New Westminster.

The students want the strip club closed because they say it objectifies women. But therein lies the problem, they clearly forgot to ask the women that work there if they feel they're been objectified.

It's apparently a Social Justice class project that was put forward by their teacher, Ken Ipe, who in his infinite and somewhat ignorant wisdom, claims the students are well versed in the issues and ins and outs of the exotic dance industry — well, maybe at home with their bedroom doors closed.

Workers at the club told Global News that they support the kids and what they're trying to achieve, but think a few more facts might be in order. It was revealed that not a single person from the school bothered to contact the club, its workers or even the owner to do any research into what they're protesting.

Owner of the Paramount, Steven Mountford, said on his Facebook page: "Why has this teacher not contacted me or anyone from my club? I find him using his influence in position of authority and power as a teacher to push an agenda without opening a discussion and talking about this subject very disturbing?"

One of the managers, Ashley Pit, put it best when she told Global's Amy Judd: "These girls are intelligent women who are making a choice for them selves that should not be taken away."

Exactly! They're adults! They're allowed to make that decision for themselves — not based on any other person or person's influence. If you're a consenting adult, and that's the line of work you choose, you should never have to answer to anyone, let alone teenagers with a misinformed teacher.

Many years ago when I was 21, I was invited to a record party for a band's album that had gone platinum. In the city where I lived there was a club called Platinum, so naturally the record company held the festivities there. At the event with my co-host, Rosie, we met two dancers in particular that we ended up chatting to all night. One of them was a third-year nursing student who was paying her way through university, the other was a married woman who was dancing on the side to save up money for a car she was getting restored for her husband's 35th birthday.

Here's a shocker for you: this was my first time ever in a club like that. I had never seen an exotic dancer in my entire 21 years alive. I had a preconceived notion in my head that it was going to be an awful night with a lot of slutty-looking, drug addicts.

Well, wasn't I wrong! I learnt a valuable lesson that night about not always judging the book by its cover... or lack thereof. Rosie, who also happened to be 10 years my senior, and well versed in exotic and burlesque dance assured me that we would have the best night ever! We did, and we met two extremely intelligent women who were doing something for themselves, and on their own terms.

The great thing about our education system is that it's there for one purpose: to educate. It's something that this teacher could have taken a more pro-active approach with. He could have invited some of the dancers of this club into the classroom so the students could ask questions, do research, and get educated about the facts and find out what exactly happens inside a business like that. Such as why women choose to do it as a career, and what some of risks are.

These students are well within their rights to fight for injustice, but they best make sure that an injustice has been perpetrated before setting the world on fire.