Former students speak out for Wentz, while he remains silent about allegations

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Project Veritas hidden-camera video Project Veritas hidden-camera video
WICHITA, Kan. (ABC) -

The president of the United Teachers of Wichita has yet to address the video that shows him making some shocking admissions. However, dozens of former students are speaking out on social media in his defense.

The hidden-camera footage captured by Project Veritas shows Steve Wentz talking about how he's dealt with students acting out in the classroom.  

"So the bell rings and everybody leaves, and I go over, shut the door, lock it, pull the shades down, take all my s*** out of my pockets and I go, 'Do you really want to kick my a**?,'" said Wentz. 

He goes on to boast about threatening violence to his former students. "I've done this more than once, and I said, 'But I guarantee you, I will kick your f****** a**,'" he said.  

Wentz taught at Southeast High School for 25 years. Many of his former students said Wednesday the allegations against Wentz are out of character. 

"This was just took the wrong way," said Sivea Devore. She took psychology with Wentz, and calls him one of her most influential teachers. "He was an outgoing person and he really cared about his job and students," she said.  

Longtime neighbor Kristyn Opat echoes that sentiment. "He's always looking out for everyone else, and he has children of his own. He treated my sister and I like we were his own kids as well," said Opat. 

The footage was captured by an undercover journalist with Project Veritas at a conference in Orlando. The controversial organization says it's currently trying to expose alleged problems with teachers' unions. 

"I think it's very manipulative on their part and not very trustworthy," said Opat. 

Organization responds to undercover video of UTW President

Despite the disturbing allegations, both Opat and Devore believe there should be no repercussions based on this video. 

"I still support Mr. Wentz," said Devore. "He would never do that. He is a trustworthy person."

We've reached out to Wentz in just about every way possible - stopping at his office and his house, and making several calls. He simply referred us to the Kansas National Education Association, which issued a statement saying in part, 'The video has been heavily edited and it's part of a smear campaign by a known criminal."

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