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.