Kindergarten teacher charged with letting minors drink in her home
By Sharon Stevens, Education Reporter
SALEM, Ill. (KSDK) - An Illinois kindergarten teacher is charged with two counts of letting minors drink alcohol in her home.
Prosecutors filed charges 39-year-old Wendy Bunnell, a teacher in the Salem Elementary School District. The district contains only two schools: Hawthorn and Franklin.
Salem School District Superintendent Mark Cartwright says he has not had a chance to talk with Bunnell. She remains a teacher in the Salem District, although she was not in class Thursday.
Authorities say Wendy Bunnell allowed friends of her high school freshman son to consume alcohol at her Salem home March 2, a violation of Illinois Liquor Control Act.
None of the children attend the Hawthorne School where Bunnell teaches. The students in question were all local high school students.
Marion County State's Attorney Matthew Wilzbach says a detective discovered the allegations through social media.
Wilzbach says Bunnell's husband was home at the time of the party, but he was asleep.
Wilzbach says a concerned citizen contacted a local detective and reported what she had read on Twitter.
Rumors about the alleged underage drinking had been the talk of the town for days.
Superintendent Mark Cartwright says he was shocked when he heard charges had been filed against one of his teachers.
Both charges are misdemeanors. If convicted, Bunnell could face fines of at least $500 on each count.
Wendy Bunnell is due in court on April 4.