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Teacher Quits Job and Leaves Family for Student
James Hooker, a teacher at a California high school, has moved in with a student after leaving his family and his job at a Modesto high school. The student is now 18 and was once one of his students. Hooker is 41 and quit his job as a business and computer teacher late last week in order to live with the 18-year-old Jordan Powers. Hooker also left his wife and children to do so. He left his job and his family after an investigation by police was launched into his relationship with the student. Powers took one of Hooker’s classes at James Enochs High School.
Hooker has been placed on paid administrative leave as the couple now lives together in an apartment.
“In making our choice, we’ve hurt a lot of people,” Hooker said. “We keep asking ourselves, ‘Do we make everyone else happy or do we follow our hearts?’”
Hooker claims that the relationship between the two just began, when Powers turned 18, but the mother of the teenager claims the relationship began when her daughter was of an illegal age. The mother also does not believe that the couple had not been physical prior to the daughter turning 18.
“She looked up to him,” mother Tammie Powers said. “[He was in the] position of an educator, [and you] don’t abuse your student. Period. She’s still in high school. She still lives at home. She has a curfew…. That’s not OK.”
Students from the high school claim that the relationship started earlier than Hooker claims.
“She was 14 when they first got together,” said one student. “That’s pretty disgusting, a guy like an old man would try and go with a really young girl.”
The heart of the police investigation centers on when the relationship began. The couple met for the first time during Powers’ freshman year at the school. The two claim their feelings for each other developed through text messages and phone calls and spending time with each other during and after school hours.
“[He's] my best friend,” Jordan Powers said. “I mean, he’s more than just a lover.”
Tammie Powers said that she found over 8,000 text messages between the couple to go on top of late night phone calls and emails. All of this occurred while the daughter was underage.
“That’s pursuit, in my opinion, with some type of intent” she said.
Tammie Powers has also taken to the internet to launch an attack against Hooker. She has used Facebook multiple times to attack Hooker. One of her posts read as follows:
This is a picture of JAMES HOOKER from Enochs High School….a perverted man in his forties, who has taken advantage of a little girl. Now, James if you’re reading this while you have my daughter—-you better believe everyone will know you’re a sick child molester….
Hooker is not allowed to contact staff members or students at the high school for the time being.
“There’s no evidence of that. There’s no proof of that. It didn’t exist,” Hooker said. “I’ve been portrayed as a monster through all of this. I’m not a monster. I’m not any different than I’ve always been.”
Teacher Quits Job and Leaves Family for Student by Jim Vassallo