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

Posted: Updated:
Project Veritas hidden-camera video Project Veritas hidden-camera video

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."

  • Most Popular Stories

    • Little girl testifies about night she was allegedly choked, raped

      A little girl testified in a Sedgwick County courtroom about the night she said she was choked and sexually assaulted. 

    • Second teen dies after car crashes into Kansas creek

      Two teenagers have died after a car they were in went into a creek in northeast Kansas during the weekend. Three other teens were able to escape without serious injury.

    • Police: Day care owner kept babies tied to car seats for 7 hours a day

      The owner of a Dallas-area in-home day care center has been jailed on child endangerment charges after she was accused of keeping infants and toddlers tied to their car seats for hours. 

    • Navy officer found dead on court day for order of protection

      A 37-year-old Navy Chief Petty Officer in Florida was found dead on Monday -- the same day she was to appear at a court hearing for an order of protection she sought against a man she claimed kicked her in the stomach and pulled a gun on her, authorities said. 

    • Fallen deputy's mother thanks supporters

      It was an emotional night as hundreds of supporters gathered at the law enforcement memorial for a candlelight vigil.

    • Driver hurt when vehicle hits large elk on I-70 in Kansas

      Kansas game wardens say one person was hurt when their vehicle crashed into a large elk on Interstate 70.

    • Missing in Kansas: Jackson Wallace

      A Wichita mom is asking for the public’s help with finding her teenage son. 

    • Haysville man charged with killing 4-month-old daughter

      Andrew Franklin, 32, was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder and two counts of child abuse. A judge set his bond at $250,000. 

    • An investigation is underway after an early morning house fire in downtown Wichita. Firefighters were called to a home around 1:15 a.m. Wednesday morning near Central and Wabash.

    • The page you requested is currently unavailable. Pages on this site are constantly being revised, updated, and occasionally removed. You may have followed an outdated link or have outdated pages in your