Education
Pam Stenzel. (Photo: YouTube / Pam Stenzel) Pam Stenzel. (Photo: YouTube / Pam Stenzel)  

High schoolers complain, tweet about slut-shaming during abstinence-only assembly

Tuesday’s abstinence-only motivational assembly at George Washington High School in Charleston, W.Va., has so angered a student that she has announced plans to file a grievance with the American Civil Liberties Union.

The assembly speaker, Pam Stenzel, specializes in describing the physical and emotional consequences of premarital sex. She “tackles today’s tough issues of sex with candor, insight, humor, and the challenge for young people to get the abstinence advantage,” according to her website.

George Washington High student Katelyn Campbell, however, found no humor or insight in Stenzel’s presentation, reports The Charleston Gazette. She has charged that Stenzel’s spiel is “slut-shaming” designed to “scare students into abstaining from sex.”

“Many students felt uncomfortable with her outright condemnation of any and everyone who has ever had premarital sexual contact,” Campbell told The Gazette. “Stenzel’s overall attitude was that any type of sex will guarantee the contraction of an STD or an unwanted pregnancy.”

The angry high school student alleged that Stenzel provided misleading statistics and informed students that they are “impure” if they’ve engaged in premarital sexual activities.

The student also charged that Stenzel said, “If you take birth control, your mother probably hates you.” Another alleged statement was: “I could look at any one of you in the eyes right now and tell if you’re going to be promiscuous.”

To top it all off, Campbell (and an unnamed male student) did not appreciate Stenzel’s tone.

“She was making girls cry,” the unidentified male student told The Gazette. “There were pregnant girls in the audience and she was implying, if you had sex, you’re not an okay person.”

Stenzel is decidedly Christian, but Campbell did note that her presentation at George Washington High did not bring up her religious beliefs.

As The Gazette notes, some students jumped on Twitter while the assembly was happening to tell the world things like: “She doesn’t like you if you’re not a virgin.”

Another tweeter, @brianneisabunny, wrote: “I hope people are calling in about the sex ed speaker this morning. Shaming girls for having sex isn’t teaching ‘abstinence.’”

Brianne seems to have quickly lost interest, though. Her next tweet involved Nicki Minaj.

School officials supported Stenzel’s presentation.

“Anytime you talk about sex with any teen student, it can be uncomfortable,” George Aulenbacher, the school’s principal, told The Gazette. “The only way to guarantee safety is abstinence. Sometimes, that can be a touchy topic, but I was not offended by her. The intent was to educate and talk to kids about making good decisions.”

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