Teacher Resigns

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Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2004

A West High teacher unexpectedly resigns, one month after being arrested on federal drug charges. She was arrested last month in Texas for drug trafficking.

Wichita teachers are preparing to return to the classroom, but one teacher, Vidya Kennedy, won't be among them.

Kennedy, 29, and another 22-year-old Wichitan, Brian Jacob Walter, were arrested in Del Rio, Tex. July 4 at the U.S. Port of Entry. U.S. Customs officials found 177 pounds of marijuana in the Chevy Suburban they were driving in.

West High employees, students and former employees are surprised of the drug charges against the now-former West High English teacher.

"She's real quiet, real pleasant, always has a smile on her face,” said West High employee Peggy Waters, who didn’t know she resigned. “She's a real sweet person.”

According to the U.S. Attorney's office in San Antonio, Kennedy and Walter's car was stopped at the border July 4. The gas tank was x-rayed and four metal boxes were found in the tank containing 177 pounds of marijuana.

"I don't feel like she'd do something like that, so I just think there might be something behind it," said Jeff Sturm, who graduated from West High in 2004.

A federal grand jury indicted Kennedy and Walter earlier this month on those charges. If they're convicted, they could face imprisonment of up to 20 years on the two drug charges. Right now the school district isn't commenting because this is a personnel matter.

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