School Board Member Confesses That Her Husband Helped Pay to Bring Christian Abstinence Speaker to School

Quick recap of the amazing story: Christian speaker (and Liberty University graduate) Pam Stenzel was invited to speak at George Washington High School in West Virginia. Student Katelyn Campbell told the media about this how it was not-at-all an optional assembly. In response, her principal, George Aulenbacher, threatened to tell Wellesley College (Katelyn’s future school) about how she was a “backstabber.” Katelyn told that to the media, too. Wellesley responded with open arms for Katelyn.

Katelyn Cambell

Okay. So what’s happened since then?

On Wednesday, some asshole threatened the principal with violence:

City police Lt. Shawn Williams tells the Associated Press that someone threatened in a Facebook posting to shoot George Washington High School Principal George Aulenbacher. The post was made on a Facebook page supporting Aulenbacher.

Idiot. I denounce anyone who even talks about stupid shit like that. If you contact anyone you disagree with ever, you speak politely while pointing out the flaws in what they said and did. It’s the only acceptable way to maintain the upper hand.

Then, last night, there was a packed school board meeting where this whole controversy was discussed.

Many people defended the principal’s actions:

“I feel like what is happening with Mr. Aulenbacher isn’t fair,” student Gracie Switzer said. “I feel like everyone who supported him should come out to show what a great principal and a great man he is.

Debra Bradford, a GW parent, said she has “never seen any child operate with a degree of fear around him.”

“He is a caring man who loves the students of George Washington High School,” she said. “If he’s at fault for anything it’s because he cares so much about the kids.”

He loves you… unless you don’t respond to his threats of blackmail, in which case he’ll try to screw you over.

None of those defenders, according to this report, denied or refuted anything he supposedly did. (For those keeping score, add a check to your Katelyn column.)

A school board member defended Stenzel:

Others came just to address the controversial nature of sex speaker Pam Stenzel, and school board member Becky Jordon weighed in.

“You might not like the way she presented it and a few off-color remarks,” she said. “But some of her things were right on-target.”

Perhaps the reason Jordon was on Stenzel’s side was because her husband donated the money to bring Stenzel to the school!

Becky Jordon

At a crowded, often testy Kanawha County school board meeting Thursday, board member Becky Jordon announced that her husband donated money to a religious group to bring a controversial abstinence-only speaker to two public schools and a church last week.

When she made the announcement, murmurs could be heard in the crowd that she should resign, or “remember separation of church and state.”

So here’s what we’ve learned so far: The community doesn’t care that a Christian preacher was brought in for a mandatory public school assembly. The school board members don’t care, either. Neither does the school’s principal.

That’s why what Katelyn Campbell did is so brave. She was willing to go against all of those adults because she believed her cause was worth fighting for. It didn’t matter if everyone else was going to be against her, she would put her future on the line to fight against this awful promotion of Christian theology in the school. The support she’s been given is just incredible and it needs to continue.

Any church/state separation group — hell, even Wellesley — should be honoring her with as many scholarships as they can, because she is exactly the type of student we want to be supporting.

(Thanks to Brian and Sonja for the links)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • WallofSleep

    “Sex speaker”. I can’t even… I mean… Wot?

    • busterggi

      I know exactly what it means – I haven’t done anything sexual for years except occassionally talk about my fading memories.

  • LesterBallard
  • LesterBallard
    • tobias2772

      You guys really should go to the daily best link above. Stenzel says flat out that she doesn’t care whether what she is promoting works, as long as she doesn’t piss off god. Could somebody post a picture of her so that I can fix an image with this rectal sphincter.

  • http://twitter.com/butterflyfish_ Heidi McClure

    Apparently this principal knows nothing of Massachusetts. We like godless liberals here. Go Wellesley!

  • http://twitter.com/the_final_pope Ben Roy

    Living in WV, I’m on the front lines of this stupidity. Christianity is firmly rooted in the educational system here, and it’s going to take allot of work to get it removed like the tumor it is. Churches, and Christian organizations regularly us school facilities here for meetings and concerts, one school, located in Harrison county has a “god bless” banner hanging outside on the school building, and at the same school one of the former teachers regularly quizzed his students on Christianity with the full approval of the principal. This teacher has since retired, but he still leads such things as a crucifixion reenactments along RT. 50 in the county and organizes Christian concerts at the school he formally taught. I could go on for pages about what students go through here, this issue with Ms. Campbell is just the tip of the iceberg

    • johnl

      I feel for you. I live over here in Morgantown and it’s not as bad here. I’ve dated a couple women from Logan and been down there a few and and all I can say is WOW! Maybe you should contact FFRF.

      • http://twitter.com/the_final_pope Ben Roy

        Wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the FFRF, but the problem is most students are too afraid to say anything, that’s why I’m rooting for Ms. Campbell.

        • Andrew T.

          I was afraid when I was Campbell’s age ten years ago. It was only after I moved 800 miles out of the area that I felt comfortable asserting myself as the gay and godless creature that I am.

      • ks

        I’m from Man and it really is bad down there. I left when I went to college, but my family is all still down there and, yeah.

    • Andrew T.

      I spent my first 22 years in West Virginia; most of it in the southern part of the state (Mercer County). A huge part of what drove me into atheism were my experiences living there and seeing so much idiocy and abuse spawned by Christianity on a firsthand basis:

      http://www.andrewturnbull.net/atheism.html

      Creationism and toxic religious attitudes about sex (abortion, abstinence, homophobia, et al) seeped into my high school experience with regularity, and I doubt things have improved any since. The last news I heard about my HS was that they had STARTED holding graduation events in an area church.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeff.see.7 Jeff See

    The community doesn’t care about a Christian focused speaker being brought in?
    “When she made the announcement, murmurs could be heard in the crowd that she should resign, or “remember separation of church and state.”

  • Gus Snarp

    I just noticed from the ThinkProgress link there’s a picture of the flyer for the event. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=270948979707190&set=a.270948976373857.1073741826.270844006384354&type=1&theater
    On the flyer her “credentials” include an appearance on Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher. Please tell me someone is uploading this clip to YouTube as we speak….


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