Teacher arrested, readers confused
Schools have been known for giving out awards for just about everything, with the idea being that if no one is left out, no one’s feelings will be hurt. You know, just like in the real world.
However, at least one South Carolina high school would appear to really be reaching with its latest accolade.
Kinsley Wentzky, 34, a high school English teacher at Columbia’s Dreher High School, was arrested Friday on a charge of sexual battery with a “student 16 or 17 years of age with no aggravated force or coercion,” according to the Columbia Police Department.
That means the relationship between the female teacher and unidentified student did not involve physical violence, such as rape. Wentzky has admitted to having sex with the student in a statement, according to the arrest warrant.
So how does the headline in the Columbia newspaper, called The State, read regarding the incident: “Dreher High School honors teacher charged with sexual battery.”
Now lest one come away with the misguided assumption that the school in question is actually lauding said teacher for being charged with sexual battery, it should be noted that the instructor is an English honors teacher.
One would think that the simple fact that a teacher has been charged with having a sexual relationship with a student would be a salacious enough event for the copy editor who crafted the headline, without the need to try to squeeze in the word “honors.”
As it is, the headline will undoubtedly lead some to initially assume that Dreher High School has some warped need to give out plaudits even to teachers charged with serious ethical and legal violations.
However, one does have to admit that if nothing else, a headline that appears to imply that a school is honoring a teaching charged with having sexual relationship with a student is the sort that increases the odds that readers will peruse the story.