Teacher: Hooker + High School Student = True Love

Sarah MojoPop Culture74 Comments

kindlyhippie

“Hooker knows his decisions may have cost him his teaching career.”

News update! 41-year-old Modesto, CA high school teacher James Hooker resigns from teaching job and leaves family for 18-year-old student Jordan Powers.This story has completely caught and captivated my attention. I think the reason I am so interested in this story is because: 1) This man’s name is Hooker! For me, the comedy of his name is unfortunate but cannot be discounted or avoided. 2) He left a job that paid over $100,000 to pursue this relationship. 3) He left a wife and kids to move in with Jordan. 4) Who will hire him after resigning from a teaching position for a relationship with a student? There are so many moral and ethical lines in question here. The full story can be read at the Modesto Bee’s site here although most major news outlets also have articles on this story.

The lovers: 18-year-old Jordan Powers pictured here with 41-year-old Hooker

On one side, I’m all for love and I do believe that love can happen between with a significant age gap (my partner is 11 years older than me). At the same time, I think there are certain boundaries that should remain intact: student/teacher for example. For me, I wouldn’t have an issue with this if they waited until she graduated to pursue a relationship/express interest. For me, if your love is that sincere, you should be able to wait an extra year or so to express interest.  I am not one to judge or pass judgement on the fact he was cheating on his wife and left his kids, which according to a report, one of his kids is 17. I feel like parents should be able to send their kids to school and not have to worry about a teacher having an inappropriate relationship with their child. Now I understand that this is not something that happens every day in every town but there have been several example in past years of teachers in relationships with students (Mary Kay Letourneau). Is this something that is becoming more acceptable?

I am also interested in the mentions of Jordan’s mom, Tammie Powers who has been waging war on facebook calling James Hooker “an arrogant pervert,” according to the Modesto Bee article. She states in the article that Jordan was a good kid, always compliant with the household rules – no R movies, no lone trips to the mall or movies. So…when was this relationship taking place? Was Jordan too sheltered and looking to rebel? I understand that Jordan is now 18, and therefore a legal adult, but what role does the family get to play in this situation?

Yes, I am sure that Hooker and Jordan Powers share love, true love.

I have been thinking about how this story is a reflection of our time and cultural norms. Do we value love over age? Is there an appropriate/inappropriate age gap between individuals in love? At what age do we consider an individual old enough to make responsible relationship choices? In what context? With someone their own age or with someone much older or younger. I’m super interested in hearing other folks’ thoughts on this topic and what your reaction is to this situation. This seems like a moral and ethical discussion waiting to happen and I am eager to hear your opinions.

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Sarah MojoTeacher: Hooker + High School Student = True Love

74 Comments on “Teacher: Hooker + High School Student = True Love”

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  1. Profile photo of Moretta
    Moretta

    This man is about as selfish as is possible. The only thing he could do that would be more selfish is asking his wife for an open relationship so that both women could share him. (Fortunately, people like that don’t exist, and if they did they certainly wouldn’t be in the public eye or admired.)

    I feel so sorry for this young woman.

     

     

  2. Profile photo of
    Kortney Thoma

    My thoughts are:

    A. We have to draw the line somewhere on legal consent and even if we think she’s made a decision she’ll regret, the girl has made her choice. Whether it works or not is now her responsibility–either way she’ll learn lessons from the decisions she’s made which is ultimately a very grown-up thing to do.

    B. Yeah, um, I think Hooker’s decision to leave his family is douchey and his decision to leave them for a girl the same age as one of his own children is kinda sick. As a father and a grown man, he should be well aware of how tumultuous this age is how much she is going to miss out on by being with him. Honestly, I think it’s really selfish of him to engage her in this relationship. He’ll be wanting home cooked meals, nights in, and wine parties, and she’s going to miss out on a lot of her youth by being with him. Even if he loves her truly-madly-deeply, he should put his feelings aside in favor of letting her be a teenager and learn to grow up. There’s just so much she has yet to experience…

    C. I don’t know where I stand on the power structure stuff (there can be exceptions) but ultimately I think it’s unprofessional to date your student, your boss, your client, your patient, etc. A code of ethics must be observed that people in positions of power won’t abuse the trust others have invested in their care to pursue their own personal interests. Like another commenter said, how can parents feel secure about sending their kids to school? As a teacher, I must say that educators already have a hard enough time keeping things professional while still showing kids you care (ie. hugging students, keeping them after class with doors open, showing special attention), the last thing they need is more skepticism and suspicion from the public because of people like Hooker.

    D. One of my good friends from college married her coach and they are really happy together (they are about 5 years apart). Another girl from my school dated a teacher for a while but when they broke it off, it made both of them look pretty bad (he was about 20 years older). I can’t say the teacher’s reputation ever really recovered… A girl I knew from childhood ended up dating her high school teacher after she graduated and he gave her herpes and then lied about it (no idea what his age was). That didn’t go well either. Anyway, not every relationship of this kind will turn out bad (or give you herpes) but I would say that a good majority of them will have significant negative consequences.

  3. Profile photo of Bryn Donovan
    Bryn Donovan

    Well, that should work out just fine.

    I think it’s a bad idea for teachers and students even close to the same age to date. When I was in college, I got in a serious relationship with my writing teacher that lasted a couple of years. I aggressively pursued him, rather than the other way around. He was a decent guy, but: even when both people consciously try to subvert the power differential, it’s very hard to do.

    1. Profile photo of jen*
      jen*

      I can just sit and stare at this.  LOVE.  great image.  I have loved this boy ever since he played Sami’s twin on Days.

  4. Profile photo of upinalather
    upinalather

    I’m just going to keep on keepin’ on and say that back in the day (coughmid-ninetiescough) when I was a student teacher (but did not go into teaching–longer story), I was only four years older than many of my students. Yes, some of the boy students in my classes were attractive to me, but I didn’t even think about going there because: boundaries. I has them. This second story of my personal anecdata is why I further think there is something wonky with Mr. Hooker.

    Snerk. I think I had a teacher in my high school named Mr. Hooker. ::goes to look in dusty yearbooks:: Yes–he was a football coach, and he taught something, I assume.

  5. Profile photo of hayduke
    hayduke

    It’s the power imbalance; looks like we’re mostly on the same there? It’s gross whether you’re a high-school teacher or a college professor of whatever else. See: Hugo Schwyzer, epitome of gross.

     

  6. Profile photo of Monica
    Monica

    There is one side of this where it is ‘blah blah consenting adults’ and okay. I can see that point.

    But I look at that picture and he looks like he is her father. So.

    I have no idea where I stand on this…but it’s probably on the ‘she is too young’ side.

  7. Profile photo of upinalather
    upinalather

    As I wait for y’all to disagree with my previous comment, I will share an anecdote.

    A friend of mine who has kind of drifted out of my life is married (kind of separated) to a German professor. He teaches wherever he can find work, primarily out of state, and repeatedly at a school in New England. He is in his 50s. A student that I don’t believe has been in any of his classes or maybe was once, a few years ago, took a shine to him, and he to her. She is in her 30s and is also married. They commenced an “emotional affair” that may or may not have developed into something physical; I do not know all of the details. Both of the parties are adults; however, he is a professor and she is a student, albeit, an adult/”nontraditional” one. Nevertheless, there is again the power imbalance. A line was crossed–a personal and intimate relationship began between a professor and a student. He was responsible for ensuring that didn’t happen.

    I imagine some will argue that because she wasn’t in his class, then no harm, no foul. But it was one of two of these types of dalliances that led to the slow crumbling of my friend’s and her husband’s marriage. I can’t imagine what the student’s marriage must be like as she hides texts and long, poetic emails from her husband, just as my friend’s husband did from her.

    1. Profile photo of KellsBells
      KellsBells

      A few years ago, I worked as a juvenile chemical addictions counselor.  I had a partner who worked with me and we became very close friends – you kind of have to be close friends in a job like that.  I digress.

      She developed a relationship with one of our clients that crossed the line.  She kept the relationship from me, quit her job, and she and our (now former) client moved away together.  I soon learned that they had both relapsed (she was in recovery as well) and were in pretty dire straits.  Eventually they sobered up, got married and now have a couple kids together.

      About six months after she left, I was on maternity leave and it was strongly suggested by the firm owners that I not return.   The assumption was that I knew and covered it up.  As her partner and close friend, I should have known.  I really can’t blame them for not believing me.  Needless to say, no other counseling firms in the area would hire me.  They all knew about what went on and had the same assumptions as my former employers.

      Lemme bring this back around – because this isn’t about me.  IMHO, once someone establishes themselves as an authority figure, they cannot cross that line to make a subordinate a lover without it being sexual predation.  My partner preyed on an impressionable, emotionally fragile boy.  He was a willing participant in this relationship, and still is as far as I know.  But that doesn’t change the fact that he looked up to my partner and she took advantage of him.  The age difference in this case was less than 10 years.

      In the case you’re talking about here, there was an established authority – a teacher.  I still call this sexual predation.  I agree with you that the power differential in the case you’re talking about doesn’t pass the ick test.

      1. Profile photo of upinalather
        upinalather

        It can be about you. ;) I’m sorry the shitty politics cost you your job, and the possibility of another, similar one. Thank you for your supportive feedback. (I’m still gun shy from being at that other site any time I comment upon a controversial subject!)

  8. Profile photo of upinalather
    upinalather

    Besides the obvious fuckery of this story, he made $100,000 a year as a teacher??!!111!/!? In NC, a veteran teacher might make $50,000.

    Clearly I focused on the wrong thing. Let me try again.

    I have a very hard time believing that an 18-year-old young woman and a 41-year-old man are in twoo wuv forever. Mine might not be the popular opinion here, but as others have stated there is a power difference, and it just seems wrong (particularly b/c one of his kids is 17–would he be okay with his 17-year-old child dating a 40-year-old?). It feels like pedophilia. Even though she’s 18, there’s no “magic line” that she crossed on her 18th birthday. I remember being 18, and I was still young and foolish. Please know I’m not “victim blaming” here, if we want to call her a victim in this scenario. I do think she’s being taken advantage of and not protected by her parent(s).

    I’m reminded of Courtney Stodden. She’s 17, and because she’s married to a 51-year-old man, suddenly, she’s no longer a minor. She’s very clearly been taken advantage of when you look at, oh, anything about that situation.

    I don’t deny that there are scenarios where age gaps can work, but I just don’t think it does in this “Hooker” case.

    1. Profile photo of Silverwane
      Silverwane

      The only part I’m really disagreeing with is the mention of pedophilia. I totally agree that, while the age of consent is a legal line, it is in so many ways an arbitrary one, and just because someone has cleared it doesn’t mean they are mature enough to be in any sort of serious relationships, let alone a serious relationship with someone much older than them.

      The reason why I disagree with the bit about pedophilia is, I want to draw a strong distinction between actual pedophilia (sexual attraction to pre-pubescent humans) and being attracted to a sexually developed teenager. The reason being, I think the distinctions you’re trying to make work a lot better if we separate those two. We want to condemn pedophilia as wrong, but we want to admit that in some circumstances, a relationship between a teenager and an older person could be okay.

      I also have a personal interest in separating these two, because even though there’s only a 6 year difference between me and Mr. Silverwane, since we started dating when I was 16, there were people who accused him of being a pedophile. And he’s most definitely not!

      1. Profile photo of hayduke
        hayduke

        I did have some concerns about that, but read in conjunction with the no-magic-line observation, took the comparison as being “these are both violations of trust – that’s why we condemn it.” Children ought to be able to trust that their parents will not hurt them; students ought to be able to trust that their teachers will not hurt them – so when it happens, you have a betrayal of trust in addition to all the other harm.

        Though, I’ll admit, these issues get blurred pretty frequently. Which is why we hear awful rationalizations of the “but she looks/acts older” variety.

      2. Profile photo of upinalather
        upinalather

        I totally understand what you’re saying, and I apologize for offending you. I do think there’s a very large difference between (in your situation) a 16-year-old dating a 22-year-old and an 18-year-old living with a 41-year-old. I’m 37, and “kids” in their older teens (I have a 19-year-old niece) seem so young to me, and as I said, I remember being that young and making so many foolish choices. I just don’t get the appeal of me, personally, in theory, wanting to be with someone that age romantically/sexually. Those are two completely and totally different life stages. @hayduke elaborated more eloquently than I did. I didn’t mean to offend at all–mentioning pedophilia was (sadly) b/c I didn’t have another word to express what it feels like this is. Like @hayduke says, we get the “awful rationalizations of the ‘but she looks/acts older’.

        I can’t even imagine what a teenager and a man in his 40s sit and talk about. He’s eating bran flakes and she eats Lucky Charms.

        1. Profile photo of Silverwane
          Silverwane

          Oh, I’m not offended at all! :) I only mentioned it because I thought it was an important distinction.

          And I absolutely understand and agree with what you’re talking about; if it genuinely works for a couple with such a  large age difference, okay, but it’s just hard to imagine!

          1. Profile photo of hayduke
            hayduke

            If it’s ok, there’s actually one more distinction I’d like to throw out there: true pedophilia is in fact a sexual orientation. We treat it as a crime when it is acted upon due to that whole pesky consent thing, but the orientation is what it is.

            The kinds of folks who select as sexual targets those who not just younger than them, but have less life experience and self assurance as well as less power/authority are not doing so based upon an inherent sexual attraction. They are doing so because the only way they are able to relate is by being in control of their “partner.” They do not wish to truly communicate or connect with another human being; they wish to dominate a play-thing, an object. An equal partner would insist that they behave in a mature fashion and take accountability for their actions; an inexperienced paramour is unlikely to be skilled in identifying and/or articulating these issues, and one without power will be disinclined to acknowledge/address it if they do.

            TL;DR: the kind of schmuck I think we’re all concerned about here is one who is in fact selecting victims based upon who they believe they can get away with victimizing.

    2. Profile photo of jen*
      jen*

      You know what?  I think I glossed over that salary before.  $100,000 is ..wow.  He must be an administrator, right?
      (goes to the article to check)  Nope! this dude taught business and computer classes?!  Ohhhh, wait…it’s California.  Lots of taxes.  Ok.

      Still.  It really sounds like a lot.  But…without that income…how is he going to afford shacking up with the 18 year old?  And how is his family going to cope without that income?  I just feel like he’s taken leave of his senses.  This was obviously not a well thought-out plan.

  9. Profile photo of Ren
    Ren

    A guy in my brother’s class married their teacher. (Their, as in, in our system, kids are divided into classes of about 25 people and each class is assigned one teacher who’s in charge of them, but doesn’t teach all the subjects, of course.) But that was several years after graduating (almost the entire class and the teacher have stayed friends), and there wasn’t any apparent weirdness while the guy was still in school. Their age difference is maybe 10-12 years?

    Might be just his smug face on that picture, but this example here seems far, far skeevier.

  10. Profile photo of DrMrsJamesCole
    DrMrsJamesCole

    I think that age difference isn’t as important as ‘life stage’ difference; for instance, if a 70-year old got together with a 47-year old or a 93-year old, they’d have more in common in terms of life experience than these people do. How is he doing himself any favors by demonstrating himself to be a) of the maturity level of a teenager, despite being decades past that in age; b) causing emotional harm to his own children and family, therefore lacking in empathy and showing selfishness in SPADES; c) regressing into a jobless oaf, therefore also financially harming himself, his family, and this person he claims to care about, and d) subjecting this girl to a lot of pain and hardship in the name of ‘love.’ Seems the only person he considers is himself. I’ll admit that it’s not that difficult to find guys in this age range that have these self-obsessed man-child tendencies, who simply have no care or concern for anything but their own egos and desires. And while she is technically an adult, she doesn’t seem to have a lot of/any experience with considering these factors in a SO, or considering all of the impacts these actions have.

    1. Profile photo of Susan
      Susan

      I see what you’re saying, but I also think that it totally depends on the circumstances.  There was a girl in my high school who got pregnant at the age of 17 with a 55-year-old man’s child (she may have been 18.  Just barely past the age of consent, I remember).  His son was a year older than her in school.  They stayed together, apparently happily, until he died in a car accident 12 years later.  It is possible to make connections across different stages – pretty rare, but possible.

      1. Profile photo of DrMrsJamesCole
        DrMrsJamesCole

        Oh yes, there are obviously exceptions (after all, people close in age/life experience have no guarantee of relationship success either), but it seems/feels that the student/teacher ones are more upsetting to ‘outsiders’ because of not only the power imbalance/breach of trust (that people feel should be there), but also in the more universal aspect of it. Most of us have had teachers and been in school, and many of us probably feel that having this sort of relationship with a teacher would have been inappropriate and would have done a LOT of damage to both of us (as well as our families) with a small chance of success. Not to say that what ‘most’ theoretical, in-my-head people ‘would’ do is right, but it certainly makes the reaction to this potentially more personal than most other 23-year (or more) differences. I guess it also depends on what each gets out of it; what people want from relationships varies greatly, and sometimes what is wanted changes more for some than it does for others as they get older.

         

      2. Profile photo of hayduke
        hayduke

        “It is possible to make connections across different stages – pretty rare, but possible.”

        Yes. And for a scenario that is already fraught with so many challenges despite its sincerity, you’re gonna add this massive, icky, formal power differential? I feel like that damned near guarantees it’s not going to work out too well.

        1. Profile photo of Susan
          Susan

          Oh, yeah.  This situation makes me feel downright sick.  The power differential and the boundary issues–I can’t get past them.  But the age difference on its own is not the problem, in my opinion.

    2. Profile photo of jen*
      jen*

      I agree.  I keep wondering why a 41 year old would be in a place in his life where he relates best with an 18 year old.  There may be some rare cases where she’s incredibly mature, but more often than not, it actually means he is incredibly immature.

  11. Profile photo of Savannah Logsdon-Breakstone
    Savannah Logsdon-Breakstone

    I think the news coverage is the sign of the times, not the instance itself.

    Locally, a school superintendent fell in love. With his daughter’s just graduated from his district’s high school best friend. She was, like the girl in this article,18. The only difference is that he waited until like a week after graduation before they started dating.

    The biggest thing that happened was that people whispered behind his back. There wasn’t any newspaper coverage, let alone TV coverage, of this. His daughter avoided them for a little bit but after a while accepted what happened.

    On the up side, The superintendent and this girl got married and still are married as far as I know. This was maybe 5 or 6 years before I graduated, so 2000? though my dates might be off a little. He retired The year I graduated I *Think*. Or was ti the year after? hm. In any case, his retirement had nothing to do with any scandal about the relationship.

    1. Profile photo of Sarah Mojo
      Sarah Mojo

      Interesting story! And I agree with you that the news coverage is probably what is different but I also am less freaked out by your example because of the fact that he waited until after graduation. To me, that shows true interest/respect for that woman that you’re interested enough to wait until there is no power difference/boundary.

      I’m glad they’re happy and still together- that’s awesome. Kudos to them.

  12. Profile photo of freckle [M]
    freckle [M]

    Oh. In my opinion, teachers shouldn’t even be in the category of date-able for students. When the student isn’t student any more, yippi ya yay, but not before.

  13. Profile photo of jen*
    jen*

    I have issues with the age difference.  I have issues with the teacher-student relationship violation.  But I am full out tripping over the fact that he left his family over this girl.  WTF?  What the flipping floob?

    I can’t help but think that leaving your job and family for a student is informed by some pretty hefty privilege.  Which in turn leads to the discussion of power – who has it and who doesn’t.

    I suppose she could totally be in love and this could be the one and they could be together forever until he dies and his whole other family was just a mistake or passing fancy or whatever….but that still leaves me questioning his judgement.  I’m not going to fault her – she’s 18.    It’s her choice to be with him for however long she wants, but, ugh.  I don’t like it at all.

    1. Profile photo of nonsensikel
      nonsensikel

      yeah, when I first heard about this I just kind of shrugged my shoulders.  I personally know a girl who married one of her high school teachers (he was younger, but still) and another girl who married a guy 21 years her senior.  They’re happy and who am I to judge?

      But then I heard the news reporter mention his family and my opinion totally changed.  What the flipping floob, indeed.

      1. Profile photo of Sarah Mojo
        Sarah Mojo

        Personally, I think its tacky to cheat on your wife but I wouldn’t even judge that too much. I am upset he left his wife AND kids!!!

        I really believe that if you’re not happy in a relationship, just leave- then pursue another relationship. Don’t stay, cheat and then ‘randomly’ run away with another person. I can’t imagine what his kids and wife are going through…so sad.

  14. Profile photo of Juniper
    Juniper

    I have been thinking about how this story is a reflection of our time and cultural norms. Do we value love over age? Is there an appropriate/inappropriate age gap between individuals in love? At what age do we consider an individual old enough to make responsible relationship choices? In what context? With someone their own age or with someone much older or younger. I’m super interested in hearing other folks’ thoughts on this topic and what your reaction is to this situation. This seems like a moral and ethical discussion waiting to happen and I am eager to hear your opinions.

    Between adults? I’m inclined to say age gaps “don’t matter” or rather, they’re given what power we give them. I’m also inclined to say: it’s different for everyone. So long as it’s legal, then it’s up to them. Here in Scotland, people can be married without parental permission, at 16 and in the rest of the UK it’s 18. That’s more about age of being able to make “responsible relationship choices” as you call them, as opposed to age gaps. But even so, I think we often trip up by judging the decision making capability of others by what we consider our own decision making capabilities to be. Again, so long as it’s legal, I think it’s important to step back and allow that person to make their own decisions. Whether or not we agree with them. On the age thing, I know someone who at 17 met someone who was in their mid-forties, they’re still together almost seven years later. They just are somehow right for each other. Their ages may not match, but they as people do.

    1. Profile photo of Silverwane
      Silverwane

      I do agree with you. I met Mr. Silverwane when I was 16; he’s 6 years older than me. So I can definetly attest that age isn’t necessarily the important bit. It’s all about the individual!

      For me, with this situation, it’s really the teacher-student thing. Especially as a teacher myself, even though I’m going to be a professor as opposed to a high school teacher. As I mentioned in a previous comment, as a teacher, sometimes a student is going to have a crush on you, and it is absolutely your responsibility to not encourage or reciprocate that. It’s a boundary thing!

      I’m not blaming the student, but I think the teacher’s actions are just not okay at all, since he was the teacher!

      Now, if he wasn’t the teacher, I think I’d be a lot more okay with this.

      1. Profile photo of Juniper
        Juniper

        Definitely about the individual! And indeed, in the case of my friend, there was no authority/duty of care aspect, it was simply two people happening upon each other. In the case of teacher/student and duty of care, there are most definitely issues, ones which I thought were actually law, too.

    2. Profile photo of Maus
      Maus

      It’s not the age difference that’s an issue here. It’s the student/teacher thing. The power imbalance precludes legitimate consent. Why states recognize this with doctors but not necessarily with teachers is beyond me.

      1. Profile photo of Juniper
        Juniper

        Oh, I definitely see the authority and duty of care aspect. But the article did also look at age difference in its own right, hence my reply.

        1. Profile photo of Sarah Mojo
          Sarah Mojo

          Agreed and SO right. I did bring age into this. I believe I mentioned this in the article but I am 11 years younger than my partner and we’re perfect together. In the circumstances we met,  it was totally appropriate for us to date. If I were their student, I would have waited until that boundary existed to pursue them.

          I totally agree that individuals need to make the decisions and I am loving this conversation on power differentials and how they play into relationships being legitimate/illegitimate.

          1. Profile photo of Juniper
            Juniper

            It’s very interesting how the discussion has split into being age difference on one side and power difference on the other side. Whoops, meant to add that the split of the discussion is important, too, I think because they’re very much separate issues.

  15. Profile photo of shellsncheese
    shellsncheese

    One article I read about this said Jamie’s mother has evidence of late night conversations lasting 4 hours, and 8000 text messages.  The whole thing seems a off to me.  Even when I had teachers that were not that much older than me the difference in authority is significant.  She’s an adult and can make her own choices and I don’t think there is or should be any legal recourse.  Mostly I just feel bad for Jamie that she is probably in a relationship that she will look back on with embarrassment, not that uncommon for 18, but her’s is on such a public level.

     

    1. Profile photo of Sarah Mojo
      Sarah Mojo

      You’re right.  I’ve been focusing so much on the wrong doings of the teacher I hadn’t thought a lot about Jordan’s situation. Now I feel really bad for her and all the publicity she is receiving.

  16. Profile photo of Trulybst
    Trulybst

    As a teacher there are rules that we follow in our relationships with our students.  No matter that he felt “love” for her, Mr. Powers broke rules.  He had a role of authority with his student, one that she looked to him for input and guidance.  Maybe if he had waited a few years then struck up a relationship it would be different….maybe.  I still totally against a teacher, even a former one, having a relationship with a student.

  17. Profile photo of Susan
    Susan

    And if I were her mother, I would have to fight the urge to act in the same exact way – to deflect blame away from the family and onto the man.  I have no idea what their family dynamic is like, and I’m not sure I care to.  I’m so angry about the violation of trust that the teacher undertook that I can’t think clearly about the rest.

     

    1. Profile photo of Sarah Mojo
      Sarah Mojo

      I know right!?! There must be family drama in the background but I am not judging the mom- AT ALL- I don’t even know how I would react if I were the parent in this situation.

  18. Profile photo of Susan
    Susan

    THE BOUNDARIES.  OHMYGOD THE BOUNDARIES.

    A teacher should not look at a student as a love interest.  Particularly a high school teacher – I still think this is true for professors, but I don’t have the visceral gut reaction that I do with this.

    Children have a right to be taught by people who under no circumstances are dreaming of bedding them.  Yes, this girl reciprocated the feelings, but how many other kids did this man look at in this way?  I’m not saying that he is a child molester or disgusting – I definitely believe that an 18-year-old is an adult and can make her own decisions – but the fact that he so blatantly disregarded the boundaries that exist between a teacher and a student in a high school is really, really upsetting to me.  REALLY upsetting.  I can’t believe that he didn’t have similar boundary issues with other students.

    And now I think maybe I’ll homeschool my kid.

    1. Profile photo of Silverwane
      Silverwane

      I absolutely feel the same way. It’s not really about the age difference to me, but as a teacher (especially in high school), some of your students are going to have crushes on you. It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to not encourage or reciprocate this.

      1. Profile photo of Sarah Mojo
        Sarah Mojo

        I totally appreciate both of these comments! THE BOUNDARIES!

        And I definitely agree on the comment about professors vs. high school teachers. I just think in general college students have a better idea of boundaries and relationships in general.

    2. Profile photo of Descarada
      Descarada

      YES.  Give me a break, there should be some fucking boundaries between high school teachers and students.  And it should be IRONfuckingclad until graduation.  She should have had no idea whatsoever that he was attracted to her until she graduated.

       

  19. Profile photo of [E]SaraB
    [E]SaraB

    It is troubling to me because they met in a teacher/student setting. The age difference thing you need to take on a case by case basis, IMHO. I would not pass judgement without knowing the participants well enough to be able to say that they compliment each other like a couple should, but in a mentoring situation, it is easy to develop feelings for each other and it is worth it to end the mentor dynamic and se if you still work together as equals before making any big commitments.

    1. Profile photo of
      CorinaDee

      Exactly.

      When I was in my first year of university, I somehow attracted many older men. I was flattered that “adults” were taking an interest in me. In those brief (let’s face it, I was eighteen, so I was bound to be flaky) relationships, I was certainly pressured and prodded to do things that I wasn’t entirely comfortable with. I chalk that up to differences in life-experience and the power dynamic. I was so fortunate to learn my lessons with men who were not truly predatory.

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