CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- While school nurses in Kanawha County do not give students condoms or other forms of birth control, they regularly tell them where to find free contraceptives, according to Brenda Isaac, lead school nurse and coordinator of health services for Kanawha County Schools.
"Students can come to a school nurse in any of the schools and ask about birth control," Isaac said. "We're happy to do that. It's an area we're very familiar with, and it's part of the health curriculum."
But a student's request for an injunction filed Monday against George Washington High School Principal George Aulenbacher alleges that he prohibited those teachings and requested that the school nurse teach an abstinence-only curriculum.
Katelyn Campbell, GW's student body vice president, asked for an injunction in Kanawha County Circuit Court because she says Aulenbacher threatened her college career after she spoke out against an abstinence-only assembly led by a Christian public speaker at the school last week.
"I should be able to be informed in my school what birth control is and how I can get it," Campbell said. "With the policy at GW, under George Aulenbacher, information about birth control and sex education has been suppressed. Our nurse wasn't allowed to talk about where you can get birth control for free in ... Charleston."
During the assembly, speaker Pam Stenzel was recorded saying "condoms aren't safe" and allegedly told students, "If your mom gives you birth control, she probably hates you."
A GW parent also accused the school nurse, Lara Barber, of withholding information about birth control from students at Aulenbacher's request.
Isaac said that is false.
"I know for a fact [Barber] goes into the health classes and teaches a comprehensive sexuality education. In Kanawha County, the school nurses answer to me," she said. "The principal usually has a very collaborative relationship with the school nurse, but they don't deter what she does or doesn't do."
School nurses are directed to tell students that they can receive birth control at the health department or local women's health centers, Isaac said.
"When talking to young people about sexuality, it's not just about what's going to happen Saturday night, it's about at some point in your life, you're going to be making these decisions, so we want them to have all the facts -- not erroneous information or a lack of information," she said.