Teacher Leaves Family For Student

March 2, 2012 by staff 

Teacher Leaves Family For Student, The central California city of Modesto is in an uproar after a 41-year-old high school teacher quit his job and left his wife and children to move in with an 18-year-old student, according to news reports.

The young woman’s mother is waging a Facebook campaign against the relationship and police are investigating whether the couple had any illegal contact before her 18th birthday in September. Both have said there was no sexual contact before she reached the legal age.

The Modesto Bee (via the Associated Press) spoke this week with James Hooker and Jordan Powers about their relationship and the resulting furor in their families and the community.

“In making our choice, we’ve hurt a lot of people,” Hooker told the Bee. “We keep asking ourselves, ‘Do we make everyone else happy or do we follow our hearts?’ ”

Hooker, who taught business and computer classes at Enochs High School, resigned Feb. 22. He was put on paid administrative leave Feb. 3 while officials investigated, and is now banned from having contact with students and staff at Enochs, where one of his children is a junior. No details about his children were provided.

Powers had been one of Hooker’s business students. He said their relationship was “strictly teacher-student until mid-December, when they started talking more frequently and then dated,” the Bee writes.

“I just kind of knew that she’s the one,” he said.

Powers moved out of her home last week and has stopped attending classes at the school. She said she is on independent study, plans to graduate in May and then study nursing at a four-year university.

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