With all the coverage of the bombings at the Boston Marathon, I almost missed this story out of West Virginia, where a high school held a mandatory assembly to yell at kids about how horrible it is to have sex. The assembly, which you can hear below, was mostly a woman named Pam Stenzel screaming at them.
Some of the information is accurate and important. Girls who get pregnant as teenagers are much less likely to finish high school, go to college and have a career. They are more likely to be poor. That’s important information that teenagers should know. But some of it is absolutely false. She claims, for example, that teen pregnancy leads to later infertility. There is no evidence for that claim at all, or for many others she makes:
“Many students felt uncomfortable with her outright condemnation of any and everyone who has ever had premarital sexual contact,” Campbell said. “Stenzel’s overall attitude was that any type of sex will guarantee the contraction of an STD or an unwanted pregnancy.”
Campbell said several students had recorded the presentation, where Stenzel allegedly made comments like, “If you take birth control, your mother probably hates you” and “I could look at any one of you in the eyes right now and tell if you’re going to be promiscuous.”
Campbell and a male student, who wished to remain anonymous, said Stenzel often screamed into the microphone and used an unsettlingly loud tone throughout the presentation.
“While her intentions may have been good, her tone was very loud, like she was shaming everyone in the audience. She was making girls cry. There were pregnant girls in the audience and she was implying, if you had sex, you’re not an OK person,” the male student said. “The only reason I am standing up against it is so other schools in West Virginia don’t have to hear this.”
In her YouTube videos, Stenzel says birth control makes a woman “10 times more likely to contract a disease . . . or end up sterile or dead.” Many of the videos warn of sexually transmitted diseaes and also say, “Sex could damage you for the rest of your life.” Sex also could lead to “scarred fallopian tubes and cancer . . . and you need to ask Jesus for forgiveness.”
In addition, Stenzel points to anorexia, bulimia and “cutting” as after-effects of abortion.
To make all this much worse, a senior student at the school who refused to attend was allegedly threatened by the principal for being a troublemaker:
A student at George Washington High School asked for an injunction in Kanawha Circuit Court against the school’s principal Monday, after she alleges he threatened to call the college where she’s been accepted and tell them she has “bad character” for speaking up against an abstinence-only assembly held at the school last week.
Katelyn Campbell, the school’s student body vice president, refused to attend an assembly where Christian speaker Pam Stenzel told GW students “condoms aren’t safe” and warned that any type of sexual contact would lead to sexually transmitted diseases and cause women to be infertile, according to an audio recording of her presentation…
Campbell wants GW Principal George Aulenbacher to resign and apologize to the GW community, she said Monday morning during a news conference at the office of Charleston attorney Mike Callaghan, who is representing her…
Aulenbacher called Campbell to the principal’s office after she contacted media outlets about the assembly and said, “I am disappointed in you” and “How could you go to the press without telling me?” according to the complaint.
He then allegedly threatened to call Wellesley College, where Campbell has been accepted, and tell them about her actions. “How would you feel if I called your college and told them what bad character you have and what a backstabber you are?” he said, according to the complaint.
“I said, ‘Go ahead,'” Campbell said Monday. “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.”
And it turns out that the whole thing was paid for by a local Christian group. That doesn’t make it better, it makes it worse.