A slew of negative comments showed up on social media, especially on the Facebook page created to disseminate news about the controversy -- "The Average Teenager is Not a Slut."
One GW parent, Ashley Switzer, started a Facebook group called "Friends of Aulenbacher." By Wednesday evening it had been "liked" more than 700 times.
"We just wanted to show that there's another side," Switzer said in a phone interview. "Any time you're in the public eye and your character is brought out to the public in a negative light, you need to know there are parents who will stick their necks out for you."
Switzer said she has been surprised by the violent tone of some of the comments on that page and she thinks most have been attacks on people who are sticking by the principal.
Meanwhile, Cheri Callaghan, a parent who has vocally supported the students who criticized the assembly, said she has had attacks lobbed her way and they've all felt "personal."
"It seems like the story and the passions have really taken on a life of their own," she said.
Callaghan and Switzer, like many in the community, have different opinions on last week's assembly. Switzer thinks it was fine for a public school setting; Callaghan thinks it had no place there.
But both said the escalation of the conflict had more to do with emotions in the aftermath of the assembly than with the assembly itself.
"Right or wrong, at the end of the day I believe a part of a person's public education is that of being a citizen," Callaghan said. "And the lessons that the kids are learning about the costs of being an activist are good -- painful but good."
Representatives of both sides plan to attend the Kanawha County school board meeting at 7 p.m. today at the central office on Elizabeth Street. The meeting is open to the public.
GW is no stranger to controversy.
Last spring, students protested the school system's decisions to block out-of-area transfers to the crowded high school. The moratorium recently was lifted for the upcoming year. This year, two students submitted a Freedom of Information Act request, looking for information on the county's plans to redistrict in the South Hills area.
The school board eventually voted not to redistrict in South Hills.
In the 1990s, three GW students were featured in an issue of Teen People after they filed a lawsuit against the city to stop police from enforcing a citywide midnight curfew on teenagers.
Contact writer Shay Maunz at shay.ma...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4886.