A California school teacher is under investigation after quitting his job, leaving his wife and kids and moving in with an 18-year-old student less than half his age.
The relationship between James Hooker, 41, and James Enochs High School senior Jordan Powers has shocked the Modesto, Calif., community and triggered a police investigation into whether there was inapproriate contact before Jordan turned 18 last September, The Associated Press reported.
The teen's mother has waged a campaign on her Facebook page and in the media to publicly shame the man she called "an arrogant pervert," according to the Modesto Bee.
Tammie Powers told the newspaper Hooker moved her daughter's belongings out of the family home last week and into an apartment.
"In making our choice, we've hurt a lot of people," Hooker told the Modesto Bee. "We keep asking ourselves, do we make everyone else happy or do we follow our hearts."
In an interview with ABC News, Jordan Powers called Hooker "my best friend. I mean, he's more than just a lover."
She said she is on independent study, plans to graduate in May and then study nursing at a four-year university.
Tammie Powers said she learned of the relationship in January after discovering an estimated 8,000 text messages between the two dating back to last summer. She then notified police, who are still investigating, according to the AP.
"She looked up to him," Tammie Powers told ABC. "[He was in the] position of an educator, [and you] don't seduce your student. Period. She's still in high school. She still lives at home. She has a curfew. … That's not OK."