Thursday, April 18, 2013

Protest Of 'Slut-Shaming' Speaker At West Virginia School Leads To Legal Complaint Against Principal

Katelyn Campbell, a student at George Washington High School in Charleston, W.Va., is seeking an injunction that would prevent her principal from retaliating after she protested a controversial pro-abstinence speaker at a school assembly, WTRF reports.

Pam Stenzel, a sex-ed speaker promoting abstinence, told students at a school assembly on April 9 that any time they fool around with genitals, or have oral sex, they are no longer virgins, according to an audio recording posted on YouTube. Stenzel also made factually inaccurate claims, including "condoms aren't safe, never have, never will be," and having sex in high school will cause students to become infertile.

Campbell began speaking out after the assembly, characterizing Stenzel's remarks as "slut-shaming, which caused female students to cry.

Campbell claimed principal George Aulenbacher threatened to retaliate after she spoke to reporters. Campbell said Aulenbacher warned he may call Wellesley College, where Campbell has been accepted, to tell the college she has "bad character" and is a "backstabber," according to the Charleston Gazette.

"I said, 'Go ahead,'" Campbell said at a news conference Monday, where she announced the injunction request seeking to prevent the principal from retaliating against her. Campbell said she's also seeking Aulenbacher's resignation, according to the Gazette.

"He continued to berate me in his office," Campbell said of her meeting with Aulenbacher. "I'm not an emotional person, but I cried. He threatened me and my future in order to put forth his own personal agenda and made teachers and students feel they can't speak up because of fear of retaliation."

Aulenbacher did not respond to multiple requests from The Huffington Post for an interview.

"We simply want to make sure that my client's and other students expressing their opinions are protected for exercising their First Amendment rights," Mike Callaghan, Campbell's attorney, said in a statement. "No student should be concerned for their future for publicly expressing their opinion."

Campbell's lawsuit alleges that Aulenbacher does not allow school nurses to discuss birth control, a claim that was disputed by Brenda Isaac, lead school nurse and coordinator of health services for Kanawha County Schools.

A "Friends of Aulenbacher" Facebook page has also appeared this week, with 700 "Likes" as of Wednesday afternoon. The page encourages people to attend a school board meeting this week to defend the principal.

Also on HuffPost:

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