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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Some Lawmakers Don't Seem to Mind If James Hooker Dates His Students

Posted By on Tue, Apr 17, 2012 at 2:07 PM

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Much to our surprise, a committee of California lawmakers today rejected a proposed bill that would have made it a felony for creepy teachers like James Hooker to date their students -- even if those students are 18.

Given the negative attention the Hooker case has received, we thought for sure this bill, authored by Kristen Olsen (R-Modesto), would be a slam dunk. At least to prove we are nothing like Arkansas.

But alas, the Assembly Committee on Public Safety voted 3-0 against A.B. 1861, claiming this bill would do more to potentially harm to eager students who wish to excel in school than to help them. Here's the lawmakers' logic:

First, Democrats questioned the constitutionality of such a ban on high school relationships. But what really worried lawmakers is that this legislation "could chill communications about sex-related issues in The Great Gatsby or other novels," the Sacramento Bee reports.

Our very own Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), chairman of the Public Safety Committee, admitted he was disturbed by the Hooker incident, but still thinks the state is in no position to legislate love between two consenting adults. "We have to protect free speech, even when we don't like it," Ammiano said.

Olsen introduced the bill after Hooker, a former Enochs High School teacher, ditched his wife and kids and moved in with 18-year-old Jordan Powers, who was a student at Enochs. The two claimed they never acted on their love for one another until Powers turned 18, however, Powers' mother -- and police -- had their doubts about that. While investigating their love, police crossed paths with another of his former students, who claims the two had a romantic relationship 14 years ago when he was a teacher and she was a student at Davis High School.

When Hooker was arrested, Powers dumped him, realizing her former teacher had no class.

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more here:

http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2012/04/california-lawmakers-kill-bill-to-make-student-teacher-trysts-a-felony.html#storylink=cpy


Read

more here:

http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2012/04/california-lawmakers-kill-bill-to-make-student-teacher-trysts-a-felony.html#storylink=cpy

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Bio:
Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.

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