SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A California lawmaker wants to make it illegal for teachers to have relationships with students even if the student is 18 like the case of the Modesto teacher and his student girlfriend.

Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen’s first reaction to the case of former Enochs High School teacher James Hooker, who resigned after news broke of his relationship with student Jordan Powers, was that of a mother.

“I was horrified,” she said Wednesday. “I was just appalled.”

Her next reaction was that of a lawmaker. She wants to introduce the bill to not only make a student-teacher relationship illegal, but to also take away the teacher’s pension.

“I’m optimistic that we’ll have a wide array of support for this bill,” she said. “And we’ve discovered that in 23 other states this would’ve been illegal, this would be a felony conviction even if she were 18 years old.”

Hooker, 41, insists he began his relationship with Powers when she turned 18. But Olsen’s proposed law would make it not a misdemeanor but a felony for any teacher-student relationship regardless of age. What’s more, Assembly Bill 1861 she plans to introduce next week would give a school district the power to take away a teacher’s pension and other retirement benefits if found in a relationship with a student.

Right now Hooker stands to get all his benefits from the Modesto district.

The couple appeared on the “Dr. Phil” show on Tuesday.

“We actually fell in love toward the end of January,” Hooker said on the show. “There was a little bit of hugging, kissing.”

“I didn’t think about him being married, being my teacher,” Powers said. “I didn’t care.”

But Olsen said a student-teacher relationship isn’t about love.

“This is about inappropriate, highly unethical behavior,” she said. “It’s a clear violation of trust, an abuse of power.”

Comments (16)
  1. Uncle Paul says:

    “Olsen’s proposed law would make it not a misdemeanor but a felony for any teacher-student relationship regardless of age”

    Holly cr@p my wife’s a teacher, If I decide to go back to school will that make my wife a felon. I hope not, I’m too old for conjugal visits..!! After all this new law doesn’t specify that I have to be her student or even go to the same school.

  2. Jim says:

    Why don’t lawmakers make the same rules for themselves. If they get caught, stealing, adultery, etc. – why aren’t they fired and stripped of any pensions.

    1. B says:

      My thoughts exactly!

    2. classic... says:

      because there’s a double standard – those without the power always get the shaft.

    3. nothingchanges says:

      😉

  3. killthelandlord says:

    Despite my own personal opinion that this guy and those like him are low-life’s akin to pedophiles by their very nature, emotions aside, this legislation is going nowhere for one basic reason: You cannot legislate morality.

  4. GoodlucktooUs says:

    America has a lot of rules. I know freedom is not free? and now free is not Freedom. Lets make another Law in spite of ourselves.

  5. Hank A. says:

    While they’re making new laws to punish low lifes, PLEASE make the punishment a lot stiffer for causing the death of an innocent person because you were texting while driving ! Just the other day some REALLY poor excuse for a human being got only 5 years in prison for MURDERING someone on the road because they were texting while driving 70 MPH !!! This POS also was driving without insurance and was driving with a suspended license. 5 YEARS ?????? She should have gotten 95 years and she should have served every minute of it !
    P.S. That driver also ran away after the accident. What a load of dog dung !!!!!!!!

    1. Yes says:

      I agree with you “Hank A.” well said……….

  6. Whitey says:

    What a relief! Good to know we have time to propose laws like this. For a minute there I thought our government/legal system were backed up with issues that apply to the rest of us.

  7. katie says:

    There are so many legit reasons to dangle the potential loss of pension over public employees’ heads, but this isn’t one of them. It appears that this particular teacher/student relationship is gross, because he is arrogant, inappropriate and smug, but the proposed law is absurd. Make it a felony regardless of age? Are you kidding? What a waste of time. I never knew who Kristen Olsen was, but now I know she’s a waste of an Assembly-person position. Kristen, dear, please focus on something else.

  8. katie says:

    Oops – I respectfully correct the spelling of Kristin’s name.

  9. garbAGE says:

    And how will losing his pension helps his kids and ex wife?
    What a ludicrous idea!

  10. Meems says:

    For the record “garbage” it wouldn’t affect this lowlife now, but in the futre it would affect anyone else who feels they can molest and annoy a child… 18 or not this girl was groomed for this and he clearly took advantage of her and her need for a father figure since hers has passed away.

  11. tina says:

    Maybe the idea of losing ones pension will wake these pedophile groomers up. I bet they would change their ways quick!

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