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Teacher leaves family, quits job, moves in with Student 20 years his Junior


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#1 Master Fwiffo

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 03:49 AM

http://www.insidebay...ews/ci_20078315

QUOTE
A 41-year-old high school teacher in Modesto has resigned and moved in with an 18-year-old student.
The reaction has been largely shock, disapproval and betrayal.
The teen's mother has waged a very public campaign on Facebook since last week, when her daughter moved out of the family's home and into a Modesto apartment with the man. He has left his wife and children, one of whom is a junior at the same school, Enochs High.
Modesto police are investigating whether there was inappropriate contact before the girl turned 18 in the fall.
And school district and teachers union officials worry that an ethical and moral line has been crossed, even if the student is legally an adult.
James Hooker was placed on paid administrative leave Feb. 3 by Modesto City Schools and resigned Feb. 22, he said Tuesday. Hooker taught business and computer classes, and he was an adviser to three active campus clubs.
"In making our choice, we've hurt a lot of people," Hooker acknowledged. "We keep asking ourselves, 'Do we make everyone else happy or do we follow our hearts?'"
Hooker and Enochs senior Jordan Powers said Tuesday in an interview at The Bee that they are making a life for themselves "day by day."
Powers was in Hooker's virtual business class and an associated club until his suspension. They said they met when she was a freshman.
Tammie Powers, Jordan's mother, said she believes Hooker pursued her daughter. She said her daughter's grades fell this year, and Jordan had panic attacks.
"I believe it was the stress of the lie," Tammie Powers said. She said her daughter was "always compliant," kept her room tidy at their Waterford home and minded her curfew. No R-rated movies until she was of age. No lone trips to the mall or the movies.
"I was really, really careful. I wanted her to be safe," she said.
"In hindsight, in retrospect, I should have looked at things differently," Powers said.
Powers said her first inkling that her daughter was involved with her teacher came Jan. 16, during her young son's trip to the emergency room. Hooker came to the hospital with her daughter, who left her phone with an older sister.
The sister, suspicious, found dozens of text messages from Hooker. Powers said when she confronted her daughter, she denied any romance existed. Still worried, Powers contacted Modesto police detectives the next day.
Looking back over phone records, she said she found an estimated 8,000 text messages between the teacher and student going back through the summer. In the fall, about 32 texts a day, starting at 6 a.m. were recorded, she said.
School officials contacted her about a week later with concerns, she said. Discussions between police, school and the family continued for another week, ending with Hooker's suspension Feb. 3.
At that point, Powers said, she was assured by school officials that Hooker would stay away, and her daughter said she was done with Hooker.
"She promised me they didn't have contact. I didn't know until last week there was a sexual relationship. We didn't see any of it," Powers said.
Jordan Powers' father died in 2001. Tammie Powers is engaged, and her fiance and one of his children live with them, along with Jordan's younger brother. The mother said her fiance "is horrified, but he's not going to fight with him."
On Facebook, Powers has called Hooker "an arrogant pervert," among other things, and urged readers to "help get the word out" about his involvement with a student.
The hundreds of responses are, for the most part, supportive of her. Many express disbelief.
David Wainwright posted that he sees teacher and student as complicit in the relationship, then added: "I just wouldn't of expected this from my fav teacher. What is the world coming to?"
Modesto City Schools Superintendent Pam Able confirmed Hooker's resignation Tuesday morning.
"Allegations of Mr. Hooker having a relationship with a student is the source of great concern for staff, students and parents. I consider student-teacher dating relationships to be not only unprofessional, but immoral," Able said via e-mail.
Modesto City Schools Board President Ruben Villalobos said Tuesday: "Schools need to be a safe place. Anything less than that is a failure." He said he could not comment on the case, but said in general teacher-student romances are wrong "because of that unequal balance of power."
Such relationships are rare, said Megan Gowans, executive director of the Modesto Teachers Association. She said the union offers training about lines teachers should not cross, even with adult students. "In the teacher-student relationship, there's a professional expectation that doesn't stop at age 18," Gowans said.
Career may be over
Hooker knows his decisions may have cost him his teaching career. He taught business courses for 15 years and advised three campus clubs -- Future Business Leaders of America, Mock Trial Club and Virtual Business Club.
Extra jobs such as the clubs earned Hooker $28,000 in added pay in 2009, the latest figures immediately available. District records show Hooker made $110,537 that year.
Enochs Principal Michael Coats said Tuesday that a new business teacher has been found, and teachers will step in to advise the club teams. Coats has assured parents contacting the school that students in Hooker's classes will get credit for their work.
Hooker said he is forbidden to have contact with the students or staff at Enochs.
Hooker and Jordan Powers said their relationship was strictly teacher-student until mid-December, when they started talking more frequently and then dated. "I just kind of knew that she's the one," he said.
Powers turned 18 on Sept. 5, and Modesto police say that makes her a consenting adult. However, Lt. Rick Armendariz said there is an ongoing investigation involving a high school teacher and student.
Hooker confirmed Tuesday that he remains the object of a police probe. He said he is confident he will be cleared of accusations that any physical relationship started while Powers was a minor.
"There's no evidence of that. There's no proof of that. It didn't exist," Hooker said.
He said the criticism is part of a campaign of lies he and Powers face online and in person. "I've been portrayed as a monster through all of this," Hooker said. "I'm not a monster. I'm not any different than I've always been."
Powers sat quietly by Hooker's side as he spoke Tuesday. She said she is on independent study and doesn't attend classes at Enochs, but intends to graduate and enroll in a four-year college to become a nurse. "I'm walking the stage in May," she said.
Hooker said he hopes to get a job in the private sector. "We're just taking it day by day," he said.


I think this quote really sums up all the problems right here:

QUOTE
"In making our choice, we've hurt a lot of people," Hooker acknowledged. "We keep asking ourselves, 'Do we make everyone else happy or do we follow our hearts?'"


If you were being honest with yourself, you'd know the answer. You aren't Romeo and Juliet. You're a sick man who abandoned his wife and kids for someone who should have been dating the age of YOUR kid.

#2 TM2-Megatron

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 03:57 AM

argh; talk about a mid-life crisis you won't be able to come back from.

#3 tec

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 04:09 AM

Meh leave thim alone its not like they locked a girl in a basement and starved her.
Monster he is not that destiction belongs to the real monsters in that other thread.

Is it right? Not for us to deside there both adults its there dission to make
age ratio...forget about it..that debate gets you no where.


Should they have waited a little while longer to hook up possibly but whats done is done.

Edited by tec, 03 March 2012 - 04:24 AM.

School Scramble

#4 Pennpenn

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 09:27 AM

I can't see the point in getting annoyed by this. I agree with Tec that they are both adults*, it's their choice. Is it a good idea? Maybe not? Probably not? I don't know.

*Legally at least. I don't know her (or him?) to know if they're mature enough mentally for such choices.

#5 CORVUS

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 09:33 AM

Wow. Talk about burning bridges.

#6 Hecate

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 09:47 AM

Eh, it's love. Dunno if it'll work out, but they're both of legal age!

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#7 Fender Bender

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 09:52 AM

The question is whether or not the "love" started BEFORE she was legal age though.


#8 Pennpenn

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 09:53 AM

One point I would caution the lady on, he threw away a lot to be with you... lets just hope the same doesn't happen to you when the novelty wears off.

#9 Dissever

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 09:55 AM

The age of consent in California is 18? Geeeeeeeze.

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#10 Pennpenn

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 10:01 AM

In some places the age of consent is 16, though you still don't legally count as an adult (ie. can buy booze) until you're 18. At least, that's how it is here last time I checked.

#11 Hecate

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 10:07 AM

Oh yeah, it's 16, unless you want to do sodomy, which is...18 for some reason.

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#12 Canthros

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 10:17 AM

I find the reticence to condemn this guy as an adultering creep kind of troubling, especially when he's cheating on his wife with a girl that is young enough to be his daughter.

It's not appropriate. Even aside from being a teacher at the girl's school, aside from the disturbing possibility that this started before she was of age, the guy was already married and has kids. He shouldn't be sleeping around, regardless, and abandoning his existing obligations (to his wife, if not necessarily to his kids) reflects very poorly on him.

Whether or not he's a pervert, he's still an bunghole. And I don't understand why this isn't the first thing people conclude.
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#13 Rust

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 10:26 AM

I wish I could say I was surprised by this.

I had a Geography Teacher who abandoned his wife and daughter (The latter was in my class) to shack up with a 20 year old. This was after he'd been kicked off the Girls Basketball Team for "inappropriate behavior".

I also had a former co-worker who was 30, living with his 18 year old Girlfriend. They met at his last job when he was a assistant PE Teacher at her high school. He insists the relationship had nothing to do with him leaving that job. Riiiight.


As for the dude talking about "following his heart", I hate to break it to him but his heart isn't located in the groinal regions. He had a family - and he obviously loved his wife enough to marry her in the first place! How about instead of looking for greener (more nubile) pastures, make the effort to appreciate/fix what you've already got?
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#14 Pennpenn

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 10:26 AM

QUOTE(Canthros @ Mar 3 2012, 10:17 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I find the reticence to condemn this guy as an adultering creep kind of troubling, especially when he's cheating on his wife with a girl that is young enough to be his daughter.

It's not appropriate. Even aside from being a teacher at the girl's school, aside from the disturbing possibility that this started before she was of age, the guy was already married and has kids. He shouldn't be sleeping around, regardless, and abandoning his existing obligations (to his wife, if not necessarily to his kids) reflects very poorly on him.

Whether or not he's a pervert, he's still an bunghole. And I don't understand why this isn't the first thing people conclude.


I just kind of took it as read. It's their choice, consequences and all.

#15 Daytonus

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 10:29 AM

Sure, to most of us, it's not appropriate, but I dunno what there's to discuss here. On legal grounds, it may or may not clear...that depends on when the romancing started, and even if it started earlier, if there was nothing sexual involved, I dunno that there's any case there.

It's inappropriate, but the consequences to that include quitting your job/getting fired and the ridicule of others. Which are both happening.

As for being an bunghole...does this make him more of an bunghole than any other guy who leaves his wife? The only reason this matters to anyone is the "creep" factor.

Edited by Daytonus, 03 March 2012 - 10:30 AM.


#16 Canthros

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 12:17 PM

QUOTE(Pennpenn @ Mar 3 2012, 10:26 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I just kind of took it as read.

I suppose I owe a bit of an apology, then. (By way of explanation: silence tends to feel like tacit approval, in the absence of contradictory indicators, and I was probably a little grumpy this morning for unrelated reasons.)

I feel like the only appropriate response to this sort of thing is stern condemnation. I get that they're adults and capable of making decisions, but that's why we let them make decisions and suffer the consequences thereof. Social approbation being one of the consequences of this sort of shenanigan. (And if I think Fwiff goes too far in calling Mr. Hooker 'a sick man', I'm not sure tec's or Hora Hora's responses go very far at all in the right direction.)

*sigh*

I'm gonna go rattle my cane and yell at some kids to get off my lawn.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over.

#17 Zyking

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 12:36 PM

So he threw away his quite successful career making $110K a year, he left his family were loved him both as a spouse and family man, and which btw probably also were relying a lot of his income....only to be together with a 18 year old piece of....tail?

It had to be a 18 year old high school student from his school didn't it.

Why couldn't he just be a part time sugar daddy for some runaway 22 year old stripper/porn actress with daddy issues, like other normal, 40 year old, cheating bungholes?

Not that I condone that either, but...... icon-ball.gif

Edited by Zyking, 03 March 2012 - 12:38 PM.

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#18 Rust

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 12:42 PM

Actually, I agree wholeheartedly with you Canthros.

Too many people (And the divorce rate supports this stance) think of marriage as a "On-again-Off-again" thing, and don't bother to put the work in to make it work.

Now to be fair, there are instances where one partner or the other refuses to compromise and that can poison a relationship, but I do feel far too many people just shrug their shoulders and refuse to put in the effort required to maintain it.

Plus, we live in a society where it's seen as okay to have a divorce or two under your belt.

That bugs me.
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#19 Copper Bezel

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 12:44 PM

QUOTE(Canthros)
I suppose I owe a bit of an apology, then. (By way of explanation: silence tends to feel like tacit approval, in the absence of contradictory indicators, and I was probably a little grumpy this morning for unrelated reasons.)

I feel like the only appropriate response to this sort of thing is stern condemnation.

Why get excited? It's not even news; it's gossip. A lot of people make stupid choices and have severely messed-up lives. It's a whole hell of a lot of meh for something that we really expect will always be happening on the margins. I mean, this doesn't change. People do this, and we already know it, and the frequency probably doesn't change much over time. Certainly not on the basis of anything anyone could do to influence it.

I felt that way about the baby-killing trials that everyone got so excited about, too. We already know that people do this, there's a certain statistical chance, and if you're not involved, if you're not a part of this person's community, you're not obliged to care.

People die of hunger and kill each other and have sex with the wrong people and all sorts of things, and they do it all the time. We only know about it when there's a news story. I mean, I'm glad there are some examples saved for posterity and things. I don't know why anyone would ever care to read them while they're current.

Edited by Copper Bezel, 03 March 2012 - 12:47 PM.

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#20 Evil Zoe

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 12:47 PM

QUOTE(Zyking @ Mar 3 2012, 10:36 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Why couldn't he just be a part time sugar daddy for some runaway 22 year old stripper/porn actress with daddy issues, like other normal, 40 year old, cheating bungholes?

Not that I condone that either, but...... icon-ball.gif


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