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W.Va. judge denies student's injunction request

May. 06, 2013 @ 05:37 PM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A Kanawha County judge on Monday denied a high school student's request for an injunction against her principal over alleged threats stemming from a controversial abstinence speech.

Circuit Judge Duke Bloom denied the request from George Washington High School student body vice president Katelyn Campbell. She claims her principal, George Aulenbacher, threatened to disparage her to officials at Wellesley College, where she plans to attend, because she spoke out against the speech delivered by motivational speaker Pam Stenzel during an assembly at the school last month.

Aulenbacher has denied Campbell's accusations. He says the teen twisted his words.

Media outlets report that Bloom said that the problem should be resolved through the school system rather than the court.

"It is clear to the Court that this matter would have been better addressed by Kanawha County Schools where the day to day administration of the school system is most properly addressed," Bloom wrote in his ruling.

Stenzel's speech on the perils of sex before marriage was sponsored by faith-based Believe in West Virginia. Kanawha County Schools Superintendent Ron Duerring has said no school funds were used for the event.

Campbell did not attend the speech in protest, but she said many other students found it distasteful. She has called the speaker's actions "slut shaming."

Her request stems from a conversation she and the principal had after the speech.

Alenbacher said in court that he told Campbell he felt betrayed that she went to the media to talk about the speech. He likened her actions to a hypothetical example of him speaking with Wellesley College without her knowledge. Campbell said she took that as a threat that he would call the school, and she feared it could affect her admission or financial standing there.

Bloom ruled that Campbell failed to show that an injunction — which prevents someone from doing something that would cause irreparable damage — was necessary. But he said Aulenbacher's "choice of an analogy was extremely poor."

Wellesley officials have said they look forward to having Campbell as a student.