Teacher Ditches Job, Family to Live With Student

James Hooker and Jordan Powers said they decided to follow their hearts.

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    The Modesto Bee With Permission
    "In making our choice, we've hurt a lot of people," James Hooker. "We keep asking ourselves, 'Do we make everyone else happy or do we follow our hearts?'" Hooker is seen here with Jordan Powers.

    A California school teacher has quit his job and left his wife and kids to move into an apartment with an 18-year-old student less than half his age.

    The teen's mother, Tammie Powers, has waged a Facebook campaign since her daughter moved out of the family's home last week and into a Modesto apartment with 41-year-old James Hooker.

    She has used the Menlo Park-based social-networking site to call Hooker an "arrogant pervert" and to draw attention to her daughter's situation.

    Modesto Teacher Leaves Family for Former Student

    [BAY] Modesto Teacher Leaves Family for Former Student
    A high school teacher in Modesto left his wife and kids to live with his former student and 18 year old girlfriend. An investigation is now underway to determine how old the student was when the relationship began.

    Hooker quit his teaching job at Enochs High School last week and left his wife and children, one of them an Enochs student, to live with Enochs senior Jordan Powers.

    Modesto police are investigating whether there was inappropriate contact before the girl turned 18 last fall, according to The Modesto Bee, who first reported the story.

    "In making our choice, we've hurt a lot of people," Hooker told the paper. "We keep asking ourselves, 'Do we make everyone else happy or do we follow our hearts?'"

    He said the couple ultimately decided to follow their hearts.

    The two met when Powers was a student in Hooker's virtual business class. Powers mother told the paper that her family found over 8,000 text messages between her daughter and Hooker before she moved out.

    NBC Bay Area talked with one parent who says she hopes this doesn't reflect negatively on the school.

    The couple talked about their relationship in an interview with ABC News. (see below)
     

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    The Associated Press contributed to this report.