Dreher High School has fired Kinsley Wentzky, the 34-year-old teacher accused of having sex with two of her teenaged students.
Well … the Columbia, S.C.-based government-run school has opted against renewing Wentzky’s contract in light of the S.C. Department of Education (SCDOE)’s suspension of her teaching certificate. So she technically wasn’t fired, but …
Anyway, this is as it should be … school and state officials exercised responsible judgment in getting Wentzky out of the classroom.
And this is where the story should stop …
Is it stopping, though?
Of course not. Taxpayers are set to subsidize a protracted court battle against Wentzky – and will likely be picking up the tab to incarcerate her for an undetermined period of time at the conclusion of that trial. How come? Because in South Carolina, Bible-thumping state lawmakers have chosen to criminalize certain sexual encounters among consenting adults.
Seriously, both of Wentzky’s alleged “victims” were above the age of consent in South Carolina – a.k.a. 16 years old. In other words like Wentzky they ought to have the right to engage in sexual relations with whomever they choose – free from any criminal consequences.
If these boys weren’t of consenting age it would be a different story … but they were. Which means these affairs should not be considered criminal acts. Irresponsible? Yes. But criminal? Absolutely not.
Wentzky has paid for her indiscretions with her job. And while we won’t speculate as to what this scandal has done to her family, it couldn’t have been pretty. As far as we’re concerned, Wentzky has paid – and will continue to pay – the price for her actions professionally and personally.
Accordingly, dragging her through a public spectacle (and likely sending her to jail) serves no purpose whatsoever – while needlessly consuming public resources.
In addressing this issue recently, we conducted a poll of our readers. More than 1,300 of you responded, with 58 percent saying Wentzky’s conduct was “wrong, but not criminal,” 36 percent saying it was “both wrong and criminal” and six percent saying it was “not wrong.”