Injunction Sought by Student Against George Washington High School Principal for Alleged Threats After Abstinence "Slut Shaming" Speaker

by Tony E. Rutherford, News Editor
Injunction Sought by Student Against George Washington High School Principal  for Alleged  Threats After Abstinence "Slut Shaming" Speaker

The student vice president of Charleston's George Washington High School has sought a preliminary injunction in Kanawha County Circuit Court after the school principal allegedly threatened to pass along First Amendment protected speech to a college she plans to attend.

Katelyn Campbell appeared live on CNN Monday, April 15 to announce the court proceeding. Ms. Campbell has obtained legal representation following a speech by Pam Stenzel, a nationally recognized abstinence only speaker at a school assembly.According to court documents, GWHS Principal George Aulenbacher threatened to call Wellesley College where she has been accepted  as a student this fall.

Campbell’s attorney, Mike Callaghan, called the injunction necessary to protect her right to free speech.

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

The injunction calls for a preliminary injunction to prohibit the defendants from infringing upon Campbell's First Amendment Rights to engage in free speech and from retaliating against her.

According to the complaint, Stenzel’s  presentation at GWHS stated, “if you are on birth control , your mother probably hates you”;; “small word of warning for our ninth grade girls who will date anything that walks;”  "I could look at any one of you in the eyes right now and tell if you're going to be promiscuous,"  and “condoms are not safe, never have been never will be.”

Katelyn Campbell exercised her first amendment right by criticizing the speech in the Charleston Gazette and Daily Mail. Huffington Post, the Daily Beast, and other national media have ran the story.

On Thursday, April 11, at approximately 2:30 p.m. ,defendant George Aulenbacher called her to the principal’s office and stated, “I am disappointed in you” and “how could you go to the press without telling me.”

The suit states the principal then said, “how would you feel if I called your college and told them what bad character you have and what a backstabber you are.”

Students intend to attend the Kanawha County Board of Education meeting Thursday night.

Richard Neely, a partner in the law firm, has been a West Virginia Supreme Court justice.

Film star Jennifer Garner graduated from GWHS in 1990.

Huffington Post "Super User" (identified as alieninthecaribbean ) stated, "Ot preparing teens for the VERY LIKELY EVENTUALITY that at some point, the furthest thing from their mind will be any of those reasons to say no, is like the owner of a manufacturing plant that uses hazardous chemicals and sharp cutting objects giving a lecture on the virtues of safety and preaching about why being unsafe is bad, bad, bad and fails to teach HOW to be safe and what emergency steps to take should an accident occur which IT WILL someday, to someone. ...

Having hundreds of hormonally ridden, impulse control-challenged teens socializing together, often unsupervised, for 8 hours, five days a week and not teaching FULL and COMPREHENSIVE sex education is just recklessness," the posting states. 

You can download a PDF of the complaint/injunction by clicking here.

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