Thursday, June 21, 2007

40-Year-Old Former Teacher Marries 16-Year-Old Student

Posted at

WILMINGTON, N.C. — The school district that employed a 40-year-old high-school science teacher and cross-country coach who married a 16-year-old student could find no reason to fire him, school officials said.

Brenton Wuchae coached Windy Hager at South Brunswick High School, where she recently completed her sophomore year as one of the school's top runners.

Wuchae resigned his position and, according to a marriage license, married Hager after the girl's parents begrudgingly gave their consent.

Brunswick County Schools Superintendent Katie McGee said both the school system and the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office investigated Wuchae's case but did not come up with enough evidence that would merit charging or even firing the coach.

Is there something wrong with the law in North Carolina? We already know that there is something wrong with a 40-year-old teacher having a relationship with a 16-year-old student. This story also highlights the feeling of powerlessness and helplessness that a lot of parents feel when it comes to their teenagers. It says that the girl's parents "begrudgingly gave their consent".

Hager's parents, Dennis and Betty Hager, said they did all they could to keep the couple apart after noticing a deeper-than-usual friendship forming between them. The parents said they tried to intervene by talking to the coach, going to school officials, pleading with police and sheriff's office detectives, even other teachers and students at South Brunswick.

But the Hagers say they reluctantly signed a consent form allowing their daughter to marry her coach.

Granted, the victim in all of this is the girl. However, the parents appear to have talked to everyone except their daughter, based on the report above. Were they afraid to say "no contact with this creep"? There's no mention of any discussion with the teen when they noticed an inappropriate relationship forming. Not even any mention of them warning her to stay away from him. The fear is usually that the child will run away or harbor some other ill feelings towards the parents. Imagine the way that this teen will feel in several years when this marriage ends painfully in divorce and she asks her parents why they didn't stop her from marrying him. Trust me, it will happen.

This guy took great care to win her trust by singling her out and grooming her for a relationship. According to a story that appeared in the State Port Pilot on Nov. 8, 2006, Hager was reported as saying:

"He’s very encouraging. He’s always telling us how proud he is," Hager told the paper. "I’m proud of where I finished but he seems to be even more proud of me."

I would like to know what kind of history this 40-year-old teacher has at previous schools.


Anonymous said...

At his previous schools, this teacher/coach was known as a "flirt" and often made young female students uncomfortable with his attention. There were constant rumors and his behavior did nothing to quell them.

Needless to say, as an alumna of one of his former schools, this story did not come as a huge shock to any of us.

Sopater said...

Thanks for the first-hand information. Based on the story, your comment comes as no surprise either. These things don't just happen, there is a pattern that develops. If he continues to flirt with young, teenage girls, I imagine his child bride will have quite a problem with that.