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The GEM Debate: Is This Teacher In Love Or Out Of Bounds?

Wow. Wow, wow, wow the ick factor was running kind of high this morning when I got a peek of this story on ABC’s Good Morning America. 41-year-old James Hooker, a former high school teacher in Modesto, California, quit his job, left his family and ran off with one of his former students, 18-year-old Jordan Powers. Let that soak in for a moment.

According to the letter of the law, what Hooker did was not illegal since, according to the couple, Powers was 18 before there was any sort of physical contact. But Powers’ mother is not so sure. Tammie Powers says she found text messages and long phone calls between the two, before Jordan was 18. Here’s the piece that ran on GMA.

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I really don’t even know where to start with this one except to say, is NOTHING sacred? Aren’t there some lines that just should not be crossed? I say yes and this is one of them.

Ten years from now, I don’t think this would be a big deal; heck I’m in my own May-December romance. But there’s something that seems sordid about this. Hooker, as Powers’ teacher, obviously spent a lot of time with her. What did he tell her in that time? Was he, as the therapist says, acting like a sexual predator, “grooming” his victim with a watchful eye on the calendar? And if it was Powers putting the moves on Hooker, just by virtue of his life experience, Hooker should have been the one to short circuit that liaison. According to the therapist he couldn’t do that because of his pathological immaturity.

Dr. Marshall talked about the couple’s shared paranoia, evident when Hooker bristled when asked if their relationship would last. But the other thing that came through loud and clear was Hooker’s immaturity, which Dr. Marshall also noted. When Hooker said, “love conquers all”, I think I spit out my OJ. Anyone who’s been married for any length of time knows that while love is important, that is most definitely not all you need.

So the question is, was Hooker in love or out of bounds? (I’m asking only with regard to him since he is the older of the two). Should he have backed away, no RUN away from the relationship? Or do they have a right to be together since they’re both of legal age?

We’re trying something new here folks. I’m partnering with, which is a super easy and cool way to share video. So I’m going to record my response here in the box. You can click the button and record your own to add to the conversation; I’d really love you to do that! Or you can leave a response in the comment section.

Okay, once again, is Hooker out of Bounds Or In Love?


  1. Mike McGinley

    March 5, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    As I watched this this morning, it made my stomach a bit uneasy to see how defensive he got with the therapist and how unnerved he seems when asked about his wife and children’s statement on his leaving them.

  2. Jenn

    March 5, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    Ick. Ick. Ick. Ick. Ick. Ick. Ick. Ick. Ick. Did I mention ick? I give it six weeks, tops.

    How about when this ‘thing’ goes south and Mr. Hooker is all alone after he gets dumped by this little daughter-like-waif-tart, he should watch the video of the therapist interview where he bristles and we see if he sees how incredibly disgusting this whole ‘relationship’ really is. Love conquers all … ***snort*** … yeah, what planet are you from Mr. Hooker?

  3. Carol the Long Winded

    March 5, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    The two aren’t mutually exclusive. He should not have been involved with her. However, they are now legal.

  4. Guest

    March 6, 2012 at 12:05 am

    I suppose it’s wrong to feel this way, but I would experience much schadenfreude if it turns out that Powers was pulling a con on Hooker and left him high and dry. That would wipe that smirk off his face.

  5. Joyceline

    March 6, 2012 at 3:35 am

    She will learn d hard way and he is really outbounds. That regret will live on.

  6. Whitney Eiland

    March 6, 2012 at 10:51 am

    If you meet a child while you are a teacher at the high school, you are out of bounds. I don’t care if she/he flirts with you, needs help with their family life or whatever the issue is. This is way out of control, the school districts need to do something, have work shops, something to remind teachers what they are hired/contracted to do…TEACH!

  7. royale Watkins

    March 6, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    This dude needs to be smacked silly.

  8. Cee

    March 6, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Six words: child support; no job; ‘relationship’ ends.

  9. KG

    March 15, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    somebody tell me this is not happening….

    Hooker,You Serious ?

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