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Calif. teacher resigns after leaving family for student

Debbie Noda / Zuma Press

Enochs High School student Jordan Powers, 18, and James Hooker, 41, a teacher who recently resigned from Enochs High School, talk about their relationship on Feb. 28.

Modesto police are investigating if there’s a criminal case against a former high school teacher who resigned his job to move into an apartment with an 18-year-old girl he met while teaching.

James Hooker, 41, was placed on administrative leave Feb. 3 by Modesto City Schools and resigned less than three weeks later, according to a report at the Modesto Bee.

The newspaper reports that the man, who had taught business and computer classes,  left his wife and children, to move in with Jordan Powers, an Enochs High School senior whom he met when she was a freshman at the school. One of Hooker's children also attends the same high school.


"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?' "

Tammie Powers, the student’s mother,  told the Bee she believes Hooker pursued her daughter, and cited recent problems with her daughter’s grades and health. Her daughter had panic attacks.

"I believe it was the stress of the lie," Tammie Powers told the newspaper.

Read the original story on The Modesto Bee

Modesto police are trying to determine if there was inappropriate contact between the teacher and the student before she turned 18 in the fall, the Bee reported.

The community of Modesto has largely reacted with shock and disapproval, the newspaper said.

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