Posted in: Opinion

Teen Katelyn Campbell Allegedly Threatened By Principal After Speaking Out Against Pam Stenzel Abstinence Talk

pam stenzel katelyn campbell

Last week, teen Katelyn Campbell of West Virginia exposed a harmful “abstinence” talk given at her school by anti-abortion activist Pam Stenzel, and Campbell says that speaking out after the factually incorrect, sex negative event prompted George Washington High School Principal George Aulenbacher to threaten her acceptance to Wellesley University.

Word of the talk given by Pam Stenzel at the high school earlier this month traversed the feminist blogosphere, but it is not known if a recording of the event referenced was ever made. However, below there clips of Stenzel speaking at a different event — pushing a lot of harmful, sexist stereotypes about sex as well as factually incorrect information about sex, birth control and sexually transmitted infection.

Katelyn Campbell declined to attend the event and objected to the content, a decision for which she says she was threatened by Aulenbacher and forced to seek an injunction against the school’s principal.

Why? Because, Campbell says, he threatened to call Wellesley — where she’d been accepted for the fall — and tell them he felt she was of “bad character,” jeopardizing her admission as well as her educational future.

While the specifics of Pam Stenzel’s talk at GW are not known — it was reported that she told students she can tell who is “promiscuous” by looking them in the eye, and that if they used birth control, their mothers “probably hate them” — in the clips below, the speaker makes several references to her belief that women who have sex are “stupid enough” to sleep with men and that they have “scarred fallopian tubes.”

ThinkProgress links to a local news source in which Campbell explains what happens after she objected to Stenzel’s scarelore and scientifically false assertions, and the teen says Aulenbacher allegedly threatened to tell Wellesley College “what bad character you have and what a backstabber you are.”

Campbell adds:

“I said, ‘Go ahead.’ … He continued to berate me in his office. 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 cant speak up because of fear of retaliation.”

Aulenbacher has neither confirmed nor denied he made the threat, but it appears that Katelyn Campbell is safe — the following tweet was sent yesterday on Wellesley College’s official Twitter account, addressing the situation:

Other teens present at the event corroborate reports of sexist, factually inaccurate and harmful statements made at the assembly, during which students were reportedly blocked from leaving.

Freshman Lindsey Hawks later stated:

“She was attacking and bashing the girls more. She was saying that it was all our faults. She was just crazy. She said things like, ‘It’s your parents fault for putting you on birth control’ and that birth control makes you more sexually active and more likely to get STDs.”

A Facebook page titled “Friends Of Aulenbacher” has been inundated with criticism of the principal’s alleged actions after the decision to host Pam Stenzel. Stenzel herself has not spoken of the event or its content on Twitter, nor has she addressed the controversy following her abstinence talk.

The Pam Stenzel controversy in West Virginia echoes a recent controversy on “slut shaming” billboards in New York lambasting teen mothers.

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