PUBLIC OPINION > The Teacher Who Left His Wife for a Student Made a Big Mistake

News 2012/03/06 23:09:23
Every once in a while, "Don't Stand So Close to Me" by The Police hits a little close to home. In the case of James Hooker (41) and Jordan Powers (18), it's just like the song. The girl is less than half his age, and they both seem to be into it. A therapist has gone on record to compare Hooker to a sex offender, calling him "pathologically immature," but similar accusations were made about Doug Hutchison (51) and Courtney Stodden (16) and many observers defended him. Good Morning America took a public poll on this new story. Let's see how people voted.

This one was a little obvious, but the main reason we decided to recap it was to take a look at the demographic breakdowns. But before we get to that, we thought it'd be interesting to dig into the comments attached to "Okay" votes. Most people who let the affair slide were simply unwilling to get involved in the couple's business. Regardless of what may have happened before, she's 18 now and capable of making her own decisions. For his part, quite a few wrote it off as a "mid-life crisis" and predicted a swift end to the relationship, once the reality of the situation sets in. Yes, there were a handful of what you might call "supporters," but they were few and far between. Now, on to the demos...

Men Are More Willing to Consent

As you may have suspected, the male voters were less disturbed by the story. They were more than twice as likely to vote "Okay," with exactly a third of them throwing in for Mr. Hooker. Judging by the comments, female voters were not only more likely to say it's a mistake, but more adamant about it, as well.

More Support From His Age Group

We singled out Powers' and Hooker's age groups specifically to find out what their peers might think, and believe it or not, teens and young adults are more likely to criticize the relationship than people closer to the man's age. Strong words in the staff room, perhaps, but not as strong as the words in the classroom.

Complication Like Company

There wasn't much sympathy in any of the relationship demographics -- certainly not from married voters -- but respondents who listed their relationship as "complicated" did show some. Presumably, it's easier to relate to a complicated emotional attachment when you're involved in one yourself.

If you'd like to vote on this question, dig deeper into the demographics, or engage in existing discussion about the topic, visit Good Morning America's poll about James Hooker and Jordin Powers. We'd love to hear from you!
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Top Opinion

  • beverly.hargrove 2012/03/06 23:33:21
    Let's see..Neither have a job. She's gonna get bored with him sooner or later...I vote for sooner. All his friends are his age and she still has friends her age...Heck he may even fool around with her friends since he likes them younger..Not in my top trust catagory.

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  • madsam Steelshrt 2012/03/08 10:46:32
    I am clean.. ;-) tak a chil pill. If you can't take others opinions, don't go on sodahead. I am not telling any one what to do. They can ignore me as easy as easy as I can ignore you.
  • Steelshrt madsam 2012/03/09 17:46:55
    Save the pill for yourself, you obviously need it.
  • Bibliophilic 2012/03/08 02:45:39 (edited)
    He needs a good asskicking imho. 40 year-old teachers should not date their teenage students. I feel bad for the girl, soon she will wake up and date a man her own age perhaps? I doubt that their relationship is healthy- teacher/student relationships rarely are. I can't imagine how his wife feels right now.
  • T raww<3 2012/03/08 02:33:38
    T raww<3
    Big mistake on her part, and gross on his
  • Scoobe 2012/03/08 02:29:11
    Folks get a grip. It's not about the age. I was 22 and the woman who became my wife was 40. That was 25 years ago. The problem is the fact that he was her teacher. Not even that he was a teacher, but hers. And he over saw after school groups in which she was a member of one. If this kind of behavior isn't checked you will have teachers hand picking and grooming students to do just what we have seen. Even if no inappropriate actions were taken before she turned 18, this should be a huge red flag in our school systems.
  • alun.pa... Scoobe 2012/03/08 09:07:45
    Exactly this. It's an abuse of his position. That's leaving aside that she is going to outlive him by a long way.
  • mind-pilot 2012/03/08 01:24:21
    My goodness gracious he's BALD! And, he's going to be more BALD! That young chickadee ain't gonna hang around for this clowns second mid-life crisis. She'll be dating before the years end.
  • USAISME 2012/03/08 00:51:55 (edited)
    I am a male and I don't think it's OK. My kids are in thier late 20's and I can tell you now that if some jerkwad in his 40's left his family for my 18 year old daughter, I'd be pissed. Would she have a right to be with the guy? Yes, she'd be of age. Does common sense suggest that this situation didn't happen overnight? Yes, it does. So how long had he been working on her? There is a problem with this. We are not living in the 1800's any more. One thing is for sure: His marriage with the wife his age is screwed. When the little school girl leaves him for some younger guy with a perpetual stiffy, Mr. Schoolteacher will be left to eat cheap balogna and ride a rusty bicycle to whatever work he can find. He won't have a life in the future because he will be considered by the general public as a social reject.
  • shadow 2012/03/08 00:46:33
    Fools rush in....
  • Jimmy Lucky 2012/03/07 23:40:04
    Jimmy Lucky
    why look for another mate you have already had one? what about your children? what ever happen to making the right choice? these are questions i yet to answer...

    this is not true love, in fact, it's a love at all...this is a trap... Smart move Satan!!! But you cannot fool me...
    in the bible, it says that you need to let your mind controls your heart, not your heart controls your mind...
  • Boss 2012/03/07 23:24:08
    are they both of the age of consent???then it,s none of our business...most marriages end up in divorce anyway...
  • Pinball Wizard 2012/03/07 23:22:09
  • classicdisney1 2012/03/07 22:52:11
    I'm pretty sure when she gets older she'll realize that she is making a big mistake. Unfortunately this one was not mentally prepared enough to see that if her teacher asks her out, that's a problem.... On the other hand, people get things at different paces.
  • Stef and the City 2012/03/07 22:40:05 (edited)
    Stef and the City
    Maybe this is just me and because I'm Canadian so eighteen is considered legal here but I don't see this as a huge deal. It'd be a different story if she was still fourteen or sixteen but she's not. She is fully capable of making her own decisions and mistakes and old enough to suffer the consequences of her actions. However, why she would choose to be with that hideous man (not that she's a prize herself!) is beyond me, some of the teachers I've had and friends dads I've seen are a different story... The fact that he was/is a married man though makes her his last name and by the way, it's HOOKER.
  • Steelshrt Stef an... 2012/03/08 02:41:38
    I was tending to agree with you until you went into your rant about looks and character of people you don't know. Makes your opinion not worth a damn.
  • Stef an... Steelshrt 2012/03/08 06:22:17 (edited)
    Stef and the City
    Hey, anyone who's married and wants to cheat on their husband/wife or messes around with someone who is married is more often than not a morally wrong if nothing else hideous human being imo. It's more of a judge of character or insult to their character than anything else. The teachers and friends dads I was referring to weren't married. If he hadn't been married that would be a different story and my comment would be different also. Sorry if I offended you in anyway, I didn't mean it how you took it.
  • raimiek 2012/03/07 21:51:18 (edited)
    I don't think it's the age difference that matters (unless they are underage!), it's the fact that he left his wife for a young girl. I think we can all agree with beverly.hargrove..It won't last. It was lust. The fact that he's a teacher makes it worse. He could easily be a sex offender.
  • rcardon 2012/03/07 21:34:00
    Clay Walker's song, "Then What" comes to mind. what's he gonna do when the "new" of "knowing" someone less than 1/2 his age wears off, what's he gonna do, go find someone else that's younger? He's already proven himself less than faithful. In my opinion, the girl should head for the hills and his wife should not take him back.
  • TasselLady 2012/03/07 21:08:45
    Just a typical twisted older guy diddling a "kid". Same as a pedophile in my books. People have something seriously wrong with them if they think this match is ok.
  • Steelshrt TasselLady 2012/03/08 02:43:29
    Takes more than one type to make the world go round. What is seriously wrong with you that you make such a broad condemnation of people?
  • TasselLady Steelshrt 2012/03/08 20:45:56
    Nothing is wrong with me. In my teens I never would have been with anybody who was 50 something or older. I don't condemn anybody. They do it to themselves. I had nothing to do with them getting together.
  • Eapl TasselLady 2012/03/08 21:11:04
    It's not pedophilia she has past puberty. So apparently your book is wrong.
  • TasselLady Eapl 2012/03/09 21:37:59
    Boy, times sure have changed. She's still too young to know herself much less anybody else. Down the road she'll find that out.
  • Eapl TasselLady 2012/03/10 03:50:59
    Because you know her on such a personal level.
  • TasselLady Eapl 2012/03/10 16:02:30
    No, because I've been around 46 years. I know quite a bit more than what she does. She'll realize that. When I was 18 I thought I knew everything, everyone, and myself. Not so. It's an age old lesson I hope she doesn't have to learn the hard way.
  • Eapl TasselLady 2012/03/11 20:20:57
    You can't just assume that because what you, and most people her age are like means that she'll be that way too. You don't know anything about her, don't judge her solely by her age.
  • TasselLady Eapl 2012/03/11 23:35:09 (edited)
    I'm not. It's a fact. 18 year olds don't know quite as much as they think. People change alot as they get older. What happens when he's 79 or 80 and can't get it up anymore?
  • Eapl TasselLady 2012/03/12 01:28:32
    First of all, there are problems with being romantically involved with someone much older than you, but that's no reason to give up on the relationship. Secondly, no it's not a fact, if you looked up the definition of teenager you would not see anything about them not knowing themselves or not knowing as much as they think.
  • RED DAWN 2012/03/07 20:45:57
    I remember when I was in school.One time I tried to get a teacher to run away with me she never would. I don't give a damn if I was only 7 at the time I was in love.
  • Jeremiah Lee 2012/03/07 20:37:43
  • Carson 2012/03/07 19:53:55
    And they say lynch mobs are bad.
  • Bocephus Carson 2012/03/07 21:32:38
  • Bocephus 2012/03/07 19:42:28
  • lori Bocephus 2012/03/07 21:05:52
    my ex husband should have read that passage.
  • Steelshrt Bocephus 2012/03/08 02:44:32
    Oh goody... a religious rant... whooooheeeee!!!!
  • Bocephus Steelshrt 2012/03/08 17:46:06
  • Leslie 2012/03/07 19:17:03
    My grandmother was 20 and grandfather was 45 and they had a wonderful happy life
    So whats the problem ?
  • Lucy Leslie 2012/03/08 03:17:05
    Yes, and I know a woman is 32 years older than her husband and they are happily married now for 12 years. No one who is not them can say anything.
  • ☠ Cheryl ☮ 2012/03/07 19:15:53
    ☠ Cheryl ☮
    It's my understanding, speaking to a parent who's child attends this school, the media has it wrong......GO FIGURE! The Teacher didn't leave his family, he was already in the process of getting a divorce. I don't agree with this relationship, not something I'd want for my own daughter, however, the mom of this girl should have been on top of what was going on in her daughters life. Why was she not aware of all the text messages between these two? Does she not check up on her daughter, see what's going on in her life? Answer: NO...she was to busy meddling in the lives of others...primarily her boyfriends ex-wifes...trying to dig up dirt that wasn't there, trying to mess with a child custody case that was none of her business. Maybe if she was spending MORE time with her daughter and LESS time on the internet trying to dig up crap on others, then MAYBE there would be no student/teacher story.
  • Gwen ☠ Cheryl ☮ 2012/03/08 02:08:21
    So, does this mean that you are the ex-wife?

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