Jordan Powers, 18, is now living with her former teacher James Hooker, 41, who she says is 'more than just a lover, but a best friend as well'.
A high school teacher, 41, resigned from his job and left his family to move in with a former student, now 18, he is having a relationship with.
Enochs Hugh School teacher James Hooker quit his job after going public about his relationship with Jordan Powers from Modesto, California. Police are now investigating to discern whether or not something inappropriate or illegal took place before she turned 18. Since then, the teen's mother has waged a public campaign on Facebook after her daughter moved out of their home. She is alleging Mr Hooker actively pursued her daughter when she was underage and said his actions are tantamount to abuse.
The 41-year-old left his wife and children - one of whom is a year younger than Jordan and went to the same school - to move into an apartment with his teenage lover. Mr Hooker was placed on administrative leave on February 3 by Modesto High Schools before resigning a few weeks later.
Mother Tammie Powers has launched an aggressive Facebook campaign against Hooker who she calls a 'sick child molester'. He taught business and IT as well as running several after-school clubs, one of which Jordan was a member. Speaking to the Sacramento Bee, he said: 'In making our choice, we've hurt a lot of people. We keep asking ourselves, "Do we make everyone else happy or do we follow our hearts?"' Jordan's mother Tammie Powers is blaming Mr Hooker for pursuing her daughter and taking advantage of her. She claims her daughter's grades fell this year and she started to have panic attacks 'from the stress'. She said Jordan was always a good and 'compliant' daughter. She told The Bee: 'I was really, really careful. I wanted her to be safe. In hindsight, in retrospect, I should have looked at things differently. 'She looked up to him. He was in the position of an educator, 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.'
Jordan has now stopped attending classes at the school and is doing independent study. She and Mr Hooker both maintain they only got together once she turned 18 and their feelings blossomed as they spent time together during and after school. 'He's my best friend', she told ABC. 'I mean, he's more than just a lover.'
The former teacher said he felt nothing for the teen when she was in his business class. 'She was just a student,' he said. 'There was no attraction. There was nothing that was out of the ordinary, as opposed to any other student. We were very much a teacher-student role.' Mrs Powers does not believe these claims. She discovered up to 8,000 text messages exchanged between them, emails and late night phone calls. She has now even started a Facebook campaign against Hooker, calling him a 'sicko' and a 'pervert'
Mr Hooker said, though he is being investigated, he is confident that he will be cleared of any inappropriate behaviour, but said he can see why people would be alarmed. He told ABC: 'I think the stigma of the teacher-student relationship just makes it messy, makes it really hard for people to get through to the point that we really do like each other. 'We really do want to have a future together.'
Hooker left his wife and children to move into one of these apartments with Jordan. James Hooker's daughter, 17, is still a student at James C Enochs High School.