Petition statement to be delivered to George Aulenbacher, Principal of George Washington High School

Principal Aulenbacher: Don't Sacrifice Your Gift

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Principal Aulenbacher: Don't Sacrifice Your Gift

To be delivered to George Aulenbacher, Principal of George Washington High School

Petition Statement

George Aulenbacher: publicly acknowledge Katelyn Campbell as one of your greatest successes.
There are currently 180 signatures. NEW goal - We need 200 signatures!

Petition Background

Principal George Aulenbacher,

After the recent media attention surrounding Katelyn Campbell's outspoken protest against Pam Stenzel's event at George Washington High School, I wanted to congratulate you and your institution for producing such an accomplished student.

Surely you must feel privileged to know that you have presided over the education and awakening of such an student as accomplished as Campbell. She has demonstrated every tenet of the American civil ideal. She is courageous, socially aware, and thinks critically. She stands up for what she believes, and engages in the time-honored tradition of civil disobedience to affect necessary change. She holds her ground even in the face of hostile authority because she knows, and now you know, that her position is based on evidence and righteousness rather than rhetoric or politics.

As you know, West Virginia ranks as the ninth highest state in pregnancies in the United States. Abstinence-only education is a fad that has lasted for more than a decade, and it honestly hasn't helped very much. Pretty consistently, states across the country with policies of abstinence-only education have higher instances of unwanted pregnancies and STI transmission. Furthermore, Steubenville High School also has an abstinence-only sex education policy. Clearly, abstinence-only education may not be the most effective method of controlling the negative side effects of teen sexuality.

Campbell has been able to look at this data, draw a conclusion that something needs to change, and has made a suggestion for that change. Such rationality in the face of hysterical rhetoric along the lines of "every instance of sexual contact will lead to a sexually transmitted infection" (which you absolutely must admit you know to be untrue, if you've ever had a child or been in a serious relationship) is admirable.

The education of high school students is a very serious undertaking and so many negative influences can interfere with accomplishing this goal. Numbered among these are poverty, child abuse, bullying, learning disabilities--and it's so difficult to get right down to the process of raising young adults to be knowledgeable, successful, independent, socially aware, critically thinking Americans with all of these distractions. Adding unwanted pregnancies and STIs to the mix clearly exacerbates this difficulty.

You, Campbell, and I can probably all agree on this.

And this is why you should be proud of Campbell, and proud of yourself for being part of the administration that has led to her graduation and acceptance into a prestigious college. She recognizes that these are problems, and also recognizes that misinformation and fear-mongering like that provided by Stenzel are not the best method to bringing teens into successful adulthood with knowledge, independence, awareness, and critical thinking skills. Not only does she recognize this, but she also has the courage to try to do something about it and the ability to articulate the change that needs to be made clearly and concisely.

As Steve Prefontaine said, "To give anything less than the best is to sacrifice the gift." Campbell has refused to sacrifice her gift, and is giving her best. Can you say, objectively, that you are doing the same? You might be, because Campbell is one of your successes. You make more Campbells, and you're building a better America for all of us. If you build more Pam Stenzels, Principal Aulenbacher, then you are sacrificing your gift.

Yours,

Jacob Lewis

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