Parents are outraged by a fitness studio’s announcement of a children’s pole-dancing class.
After promoting a children’s class, an Arkansas fitness establishment that specializes in pole-dancing workout programs has received opposition from the local community.
Vixens Fitness in Paragould, a city in the state’s northeastern corner, has since taken down its whole Facebook page, where the Pole4Kids program was first promoted. A pole-dancing class for moms and their children was described as part of the program.
However, some local families have expressed their displeasure with something they believe could sexualize children.
Megan Brown, co-founder of Hope Found of Northeast Arkansas, is one of the most outspoken opponents of Vixens Fitness’ delivery of the program. Her non-profit organization was founded to combat human trafficking, and she believes that something like Pole4Kids could put children in risk.
Brown told KAIT, a local ABC station, that it “objectifies” them. “And child exploitation and sex trafficking are so strongly linked and entwined with hypersexualization.”
Some members of the Paragould community have also claimed that the proprietor of Vixens had a “personal relationship” with Eric Counts, a man who was apparently arrested in January on accusations of possessing child pornography, according to KAIT.
However, police have said that there is no relationship between Vixens Fitness and Counts’ arrest. They further stated that Counts is not a part of Vixens’ ownership.
Vixens Fitness owner Myranda Ogles issued a statement to KAIT on Wednesday, saying, “I have suffered the worst 24 hours of my life.” Never have I been assaulted and despised as much as I have been in this community.”
Since the unveiling of Pole4Kids, Ogles has apparently received multiple death threats and other harassments, according to the statement.
According to KAIT, Ogles claimed that the idea for a children’s pole-dancing class came from a grandmother who had requested that her granddaughter be permitted to take private lessons. Other parents, according to Ogles, have expressed an interest in having their children join them in the studio for courses.
Though Vixens Fitness removed the Facebook announcement of the Pole4Kids program, it is still listed on the studio’s website schedule of upcoming classes. The first listing is for a June 1 class at 7:00 p.m. local time, and further Pole4Kids classes are listed going forward on Tuesdays.
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