Results of investigation into ex-Thorp teacher released - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Results of investigation into ex-Thorp teacher released

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UPDATE:
We have new information on the investigation into an area teacher who ended up resigning earlier this year. 

According to the records released to News 18 on Thursday, Thorp teacher Mark Wenta placed a note on a high school student's locker, directing her to an online posting. 

School officials said in that posting, Wenta expressed interest in a romantic relationship with the student, and that he had told his wife he was in love with another woman. He later denied having a romantic interest in the student.

The investigation also showed Wenta and the girl exchanged hundreds of text messages (shown in attachment below). The content of some of them was deleted to protect the girl's identity, but school officials said the student did not initiate or reciprocate any inappropriate messages.

News 18 submitted an open records request for the results of the investigation. Wenta went to court to try to stop the release, but a judge recently ruled against him.

Here is the entire investigative file: Note, it may take a few moments to load, or you might have to hit the 'pop out' button on the document.


UPDATE: A Thorp teacher under investigation will no longer teach in the district.

Mark Wenta is accused of having inappropriate communication with a student. Monday, the Thorp School Board voted unanimously to accept his unconditional resignation.

Superintendent John Humphries tells News 18 that the district will also report Wenta to the Department of Public Instruction for immoral conduct. 

Neither police, nor the school, are providing details on what the inappropriate communication was, but the police said this was neither initiated nor reciprocated by the student. 

Monday, the board also approved a motion to waive its right to collect liquidated damages from Wenta, as long as he fulfills the terms agreed to with the board.


January 13, 2018
Thorp (WQOW) --
The fate of a Thorp teacher is in the hands of the school board.

According to our sister station in Wausau, WAOW, counselors and administrators met with each student at the high school helping any of them who may be struggling with the news. 

As of now, police don't expect any charges being filed against math and physics teacher Mark Wenta, but the school board is looking into whether he was in direct violation of the employee handbook.

Neither police, nor the school, are giving us any more detail on what the inappropriate communication was, but the police said this was neither initiated nor reciprocated by the student. 

 Thorp Superintendent John Humphries said he believes the board will have a decision before the end of next week.


January 12, 2018
Thorp (WQOW) --
The Thorp School District announced on Friday that a teacher has been put on indefinite leave, pending an investigation.

The subject of that investigation, Mark Wenta, has taught mathematics and physics in the district since 2009, according to a release from Superintendent John Humphries. He added that the district is cooperating with law enforcement in their investigation.

In a letter to parents obtained by News 18, the district said the investigation involves inappropriate communication between Wenta and a high school student. A staff member brought the message to the attention of the administration.

Also in that letter, the district told parents that the Thorp Police Department does not anticipate any charges against Wenta to be filed at this time. The police department told News 18 that he has not been placed into custody.

The school district said counselors will be available Monday to any high school students who might need to talk. 

 

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