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- In one survey, 18 per cent of academics reported having had a sexual

relationship with a student

- 21 per cent said this contravened their institution's protocol on staff-student
relationships, 26 per cent said it did not, 41 per cent said they did not know
and 12 per cent said there was no policy on the matter
- Of those who had had such a relationship, only 30 per cent declared it to
avoid conflicts of interest; 70 per cent did not.
In the UK, attitudes towards relationships in academe are changing rather more
slowly. In 2005, figures revealed after a Freedom of Information Act request
by Times Higher Education showed that 50 out of 102 institutions had no policy
requiring staff to declare sexual or other relationships with students that might give
rise to a conflict of interest. Of those that did, few appeared to apply them: just 17
universities had any current records on file.
In the same year, 18 per cent of respondents to a poll conducted by the Teacher
Support Network said that they had had a sexual relationship with a student. Despite
this, only 73 relationships were officially recorded and just five of these were defined
as sexual or romantic. Many respondents, 62 per cent, said they did not know
whether or not their university had a protocol on such matters.

Attitudes are beginning to harden, however. Like their US counterparts, which have
historically been stricter on campus relationships, British universities are starting to
crack down on such liaisons. Policies are being drafted to deal with relationships and
the inevitable conflicts of interest that can follow - as one might put it, "an A for a
lay". Questions of morality and responsibility, sexuality and pedagogy are being

But however an institution chooses to tackle the problem, it's certainly not going to
disappear. As Ryan points out: "The availability of partners is a geographical matter;
if you are cooped up on a campus, who are you likely to fall into bed with?"
For Jane Gallop, professor of English and comparative literature at the University of
Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the US, tough policies on relationships are affecting tutors'
ability to teach.
In her book Feminist Accused of Sexual Harassment, she says: "At its most intense and, I would argue, its most productive - the pedagogical relation between teacher
and student is, in fact, a 'consensual amorous relation'."
Gallop is candid about her relationships with both male and female students, and her
exploits as a graduate student herself, when she slept with two men on her
dissertation committee. She is more than aware of the power relationship that
existed between them.
"I think I wanted to get them into bed in order to make them more human, more
vulnerable. These two had enormous power over me: I don't mean their institutional
position but their intellectual force. I was bowled over by their brilliance; they
seemed so superior. I wanted to see them naked, to see them as like other men. Not
so as to stop taking them seriously as intellectuals (I never did), but so as to feel my
own power in relation to them," she says.
But today's stricter rules on tutor-student conduct have come to haunt her. Gallop
found herself accused of sexual harassment by a 30-year-old female student with
whom she admits she had shared a charged and flirtatious friendship. She was 38
years old at the time.
"I was not sleeping with, dating or attempting to have sexual contact with any
student. The student got angry because I did not approve of the shoddy work she was

doing, and rather than try to understand how to improve her work she accused me of
sexual harassment, said I was trying to sleep with her and that I was using the work
to pressure or punish her," Gallop says.

This has also erased some of the previously held beliefs about undergraduate
students being off limits and postgraduates being fair game. In higher education
today, where students of all backgrounds and all ages are studying at all levels, there
are no clear boundaries between acceptable and unacceptable relationships.

"While the university found no grounds to that, I was reprimanded for engaging in
playful flirtatious relations with students. Except for my close friends, my colleagues
seemed to delight in gossip - lesbianism and the taking down of a distinguished
professor. And I felt that the university administration and community were
confusing sexual harassment - trading grades for sexual favours - with something
quite different: a complicated, erotically charged teacher-student relationship."

when universities are ever more aware of the risks of litigation from students,
parents or others, how should they react to the possibility of sexual relationships
between students and staff? Should these be banned? Or would this be an
infringement of freedoms?

Gallop believes that strict measures barring any relationships between staff and
students will not only be unsuccessful but will destroy the pedagogical union between
the two.


"I worry about the effect of the policy on teaching relationships that are not literally
sexual but are warm or personal or flirtatious. I worry that they will make faculty
wary of any personal or complicated relationships, and such relationships have been
- for the four decades that I've been in the academy - typical of some of the best and
most meaningful pedagogical relationships. I worry that they will turn these lifechanging relationships into a businesslike client relationship."
The issue is compounded as universities become more diverse working
environments. Whereas in the past a typical student-teacher relationship would have
been an older male tutor beginning a sexual liaison with a young female
undergraduate student, now it is just as likely to be a situation where a former City
trader in his thirties returning to higher education begins a relationship with his grad
tutor in her late twenties.

When dramatist Stephen Lowe took

up a post as visiting writer at
Dartington College of Arts, he
expected the job to boost his theatre
career. What he hadn't anticipated was
that he would meet his life partner.
Lowe, then 31, fell for his 21-year-old
undergraduate student Tanya Myers.
After 27 years, the pair still live and
work together and are the parents of
two children.
There will always be inter-office
relationships - sleeping your way to
the top. Sex and seduction is always an
abuse of power. Power is, after all, one
of the core natural tools of seduction.
Why should the education sector be
any different?


If there were relationships between staff

and students, the main problem was
that the staff might use that relationship
for the benefit of the student.

But for some, whatever the age of the

two individuals, the power relationship
inherent between tutor and student
means that sexual contact is
tantamount to abuse of that power.

A decade ago, Paul Norris, then a social

sciences lecturer at Southampton
Institute (now Southampton Solent
University), caused controversy when
he left his wife for a student. He had
previously been disciplined by the
institution in 1992 for having a sexual
relationship with a student on a course
he both taught and assessed. His wife,

Any declaration must be treated in

complete confidence, and there should
not be a requirement to give details of
the nature of the involvement. It
should then be the duty of the
appropriate authorities within the
university to organise the staff
member's professional duties to avoid
contact with the student concerned.
While staff are strongly advised to
disclose such relationships, failure to
disclose should not, in itself, constitute
grounds for disciplinary action.

who vowed to set up a support group for

other women in her position, claimed
that lecturers "perceive sex with
students as a perk of the job". "It seems
common to me, and universities seem
very blase," she stated.

Sexual relationships between students

and staff are not just a possibility, they
are a frequent occurrence.

relationships are formed because tutors

prey on the naivety of students or
because knowing young men and
women use a member of staff for their
own ends.
In their book The Lecherous Professor
Billie Wright Dziech and Linder Weiner
comment: "Few students are ever, in the
strictest sense, consenting adults. A
student can never be the genuine equal
of a professor insofar as his professional
position gives him power over her ...
Whether the student consents to the
involvement or whether the professor
ever intends to use his power against
her is not the point. The issue is that the
power and the role disparity always
Brian Martin, lecturer in the
department of science and technology at
Wollongong University, Australia,
agrees. He has written on the issue on
numerous occasions, citing his concerns

at the lack of action being taken by

universities on the matter.

He is also dismissive of the value of

formal institutional policies. "I don't
think policies on their own make a lot of
difference," he says. "Many policies
exist, but I'm not aware of any studies
examining whether they are enforced."

Such relationships may undermine the

real or perceived integrity of the
supervision provided, and the particular
trust inherent in the student-faculty

Relationships in which one party is in a

position to review the work, or influence
the career of the other may provide
grounds for complaint when that
relationship appears to give undue
access or advantage, restricts
opportunities, or creates a hostile and
unacceptable environment for others.

Such relationships may, moreover, be less

consensual than the individual whose
position confers power believes. The
relationship is likely to be perceived in
different ways by each of the parties to it,
especially in retrospect. While some

relationships may begin and remain

harmonious, they are susceptible to being
characterized as unprofessional and
disrespectful to others (Portland
Community College, 2012).!topic/alt.true-crime/VW0Uit6BOxQ

22 year old teacher, 18 year old student

15 posts by 7 authors
Do you feel this teacher should be charged or that the law she is being
charged under is unconstitutional? The age of consent in North Carolina
is 16.
My feelings are that possibly, and that's a slim possibility, civil
charges could be filed. I also feel that the school is in their right
to dismiss the teacher, but that this is two consenting adults,
regardless of his student status, and there should be no criminal charges.

Under North Carolina law, It is illegal for school personnel to have

sexual activity with students, she said. Doesnt matter the age.
The District Attorneys office will decide whether to file additional
charges, Benjamin said.
Buncombe County Schools fired Shelton on Tuesday, district spokesman
Stan Alleyne said. Her career there started in February, two months
after she graduated from Mars Hill College with a bachelors degree in
elementary education, according to the colleges Web site.

WEAVERVILLE A teachers assistant at North Buncombe High School who

was fired for having sex with an 18-year-old student surrendered to
authorities this afternoon on a felony charge of sexual activity with a

Shelton worked full time with special-needs students under the direction
of teachers, Alleyne said. She is engaged to a teacher at North Buncombe

Weaverville resident Heather Shelton, 22, was released with a promise to

appear in court Monday or pay $25,000 bond.

She is the third school employee this year to face charges of having sex
with a Buncombe County high school senior.

The high school senior with whom Shelton is charged with having sex was
not her student, Buncombe County Sheriff's Detective Anne Benjamin said.
Benjamin said parents of the 18-year-old become suspicious of a
relationship between the two and contacted authorities. Investigators
originally had said the student was 19.

James Patrick Carney, the Erwin High School band director, was arrested
last month. Investigators said he had a relationship with a 17-year-old

Investigators said they believe the sex did not happen at school and
that the two might not even have met at school.
Shelton could not be reached. Detectives did not name the 18-year-old.
The Sheriffs Department alleged the two had sex April 1. If it had
occurred a few months later, Benjamin said, criminal charges would not
have been filed.

Shelton could face 10 months or more in prison if convicted.

Another North Buncombe High School teacher, ROTC instructor Edwin Danny
Reaid, was convicted in January of taking indecent liberties with a
child. The student in that case was younger than 16 and there was no
Reaid was one of at least seven North Carolina residents who lost their
teaching licenses in 2005 for sexual offenses with children or students,
according to the State Board of Education.
-Posted via a free Usenet account from

Consensual Relationships

01.02 All parties should comply with policies and laws pertaining to the
confidentiality of student and employee records. Persons who
violate these policies or laws are subject to disciplinary action.

UPPS No. 04.04.39

Issue No. 3
Effective Date:
Review: October 1 E4Y

01.03 This policy applies to all faculty, staff, and students of Texas
State University. As used in this UPPS, the terms faculty, staff,
and students includes individuals serving as interns or as
volunteers such as volunteer coaches.



02.01 A consensual relationship is a mutually acceptable, romantic, or

sexual relationship between a university employee (including a
student employee) with supervisory, teaching, evaluation, or
advisory authority and an employee, student, or student
employee who is supervised, taught, evaluated, or advised by
that university employee.

01.01 It is the policy of Texas State University that employees with

direct teaching, supervisory, advisory, or evaluative
responsibility over other employees, students, or student
employees recognize and respect the ethical and professional
boundaries that must exist in such situations. While
relationships between consenting adults are a personal matter,
they can create potential conflicts in the workplace and in the
educational setting. Such relationships also contain the potential
for exploitation of an employee, student, or student employee
and the possible professional or academic disadvantage of third
Should such a relationship develop, the teacher, supervisor, or
advisor has the obligation to disclose its existence to an
immediate supervisor and cooperate in making alternative
arrangements including reassignment of either party or other
action to change the power relationship created due to
supervision, evaluation, grading, or advising.


02.02 A conflict of interest is an appearance of impropriety that arises

when individuals with the authority and the responsibility to
evaluate the work or performance of an employee, student, or
student employee initiate, acquiesce to, or engage in an
intimate romantic or sexual relationship with that employee,
student, or student employee.

03.01 If a consensual relationship exists or begins to develop, the
individual in the supervisory, teaching, or advisory position must
immediately notify his or her immediate supervisor of the
relationship and cooperate with that supervisor in making the
arrangements necessary to resolve the conflict of interest.
Failure of the teacher, supervisor, or individual in the advisory

position to report the consensual relationship may result in

disciplinary action up to and including termination.



04.01 A supervisor who is notified, or becomes aware, of a consensual
relationship shall confirm that the consensual relationship exists
by meeting with the parties involved and advising that this type
of relationship is discouraged by this policy. The supervisor shall
work with all parties to alter the conditions that create a potential
conflict of interest or the appearance of impropriety caused by
the relationship. In most instances, providing alternative
arrangements for either party will alter the conditions that create
the conflict of interest or the appearance of impropriety. In
providing alternative arrangements, the supervisor must ensure
no harm comes to the person in the relationship who holds less
power or authority.


07.01 The Office of the Chief Diversity Officer and Director of Equity
and Access will respond to faculty and staff with questions
regarding this policy. The dean of Students will respond to
students with questions about this policy.



08.01 Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:
Chief Diversity Officer and
Director of Equity and Access
TSUS Office of General Counsel


October 1 E4Y
October 1 E4Y


05.01 Employees in positions of authority who persist in consensual
romantic or sexual relationships and fail to cooperate in efforts
to eliminate the conflict of interest or appearance of impropriety
the relationships represent are subject to disciplinary action up
to and including termination. The university will not presume that
the relationship was consensual if the subordinate party
complains of sexual harassment related to an undisclosed




06.01 An individual who is disciplined may grieve or appeal using
existing university procedures.


Associate Vice President for

Student Affairs and Dean of Students

October 1 E4Y

Chair, Faculty Senate

October 1 E4Y

Chair, Staff Council

October 1 E4Y

This UPPS has been approved by the following individuals in their
official capacities and represents Texas State policy and procedure
from the date of this document until superseded.

Chief Diversity Officer and Director of Equity and Access; senior

reviewer of this UPPS
Special Assistant to the President

'I wish someone had told me the

relationship with my teacher was
not my fault'
One in six of us know of someone who has had an affair
with their teacher. A few end in prosecution, others in
marriage. But what are the consequences for the
teenagers involved? Here are some of their stories
Sophie has always cursed the teacher who seduced then abused her when she was a
schoolgirl. But she did not realise he had done anything potentially illegal until she read
about the case of 15-year-old Megan Stammers, who was found and taken into
protective care on Friday after fleeing to France with her married maths teacher, who
was arrested. Now Sophie is contemplating calling the police. In Sophie's case, the
teacher is still teaching teenage girls at a prestigious private school a few miles from her

house. She, on the other hand, struggles every day to cope with the effects his violence
and oppression had on her teenage self.
"He ruined me, sexually, emotionally and in every other way possible," she says. "I was
naive and innocent, and he was perverse. The sex was aggressive and sickening, but I
was infatuated: he was this older man. All the girls fancied him. I'll be honest: we were all
after him.
"He told me he was in love with me, but then he crushed me until I was a complete
emotional wreck. He was obsessively possessive and I was completely under his thumb.
I had been this bubbly, strong and independent teenager. He destroyed me."
When Sophie first saw the reports about Stammers and her 30-year-old teacher, Jeremy
Forrest, it brought back strong feelings. Then, to her surprise, she felt relief. "I have
realised, for the first time, that my teacher was a sexual predator," she says. "In one way,
it makes me feel less mad for having suffered so much over something that happened so
long ago, and for not having been able to get my life back together since.
"But," she adds, "it can't heal me or change the consequences. Most of
my relationships since then have been really awful and violent. I can't trust men in
positions of authority. I was predicted four A-grades at A-level and had great plans for
university. But I dropped out of education and have never come to anything. It all started
with him. If he had not done what he did to me when I was too young to know what was
going on, my life now would be very different."
The teacher was 25 when he seduced Sophie, a 17-year-old student, in 1992. He was
her form tutor. The relationship was intense: her parents knew about it and she
frequently stayed at his house. But they had to keep it a secret in school. "We'd ignore
each other during the day," says Sophie. He dumped her nine days before her A-levels
and then invigilated at her exams. Sophie didn't achieve anything like the grades she had
been predicted but still got into university.
Then he rekindled the relationship. When it ended a second time, she fell apart, dropping
out of university and into a life of chaos and self-destruction. "He broke me," she says.
"But now I've read that he did do something genuinely wrong in the eyes of the law. All

these years later, he still deserves to be punished for what he did, doesn't he? Is it my
responsibility to try to protect the girls at the school he's now teaching at?"
Sophie, however, will not be able to see her abuser prosecuted for what he did. The
Sexual Offences Act 2003 made it an offence for a person over 18 in a position of trust to
have a sexual relationship with a child under 18, regardless of whether the relationship is
consensual and even if the person does not teach the child. Prior to that act, the age of
consent 16 was the only issue.
Teaching unions claim pupil-teacher affairs are "very rare". Between 1991 and 2008, 129
teachers were prosecuted for relationships with pupils, according to reports. But a 2007
YouGov survey of 2,200 adults said one in six knew of someone who had had an
"intimate relationship" with a teacher while at school.
One school has dealt with no fewer than five incidents. When, in 2009, Christopher
Reen, 31, a classroom supervisor at Headlands school in Bridlington, was jailed for three
years and four months after admitting six counts of sexual activity with a 15-year-old
female pupil, it emerged that four former staff at the same school had faced the courts in
recent years over inappropriate sexual conduct.
Hollie was raped and exploited by her teacher. There has never been a prosecution. She
has, however, fought for years to get him struck off the teachers' register something
she finally achieved in August this year. "Three years ago I started trying to put right
something that happened between 1999 and 2001, while I was a pupil at a school in
remote Scotland," she says. "Between the ages of 15 and 17, I was groomed though
there wasn't a word for it then and entered into a relationship with my 40-year-old male
religious studies teacher. The relationship became nasty, violent, obsessive and
physically and sexually abusive."
Hollie's parents eventually found out about the relationship. It took just one conversation
for them to make her realise she had been manipulated and abused. "We reported him to
the police, the school, the education department, the council and the General Teaching
Council for Scotland," says Hollie. "They all received a full report from me detailing the
extent of what had happened. I moved to England where I was originally from. No one
from these organisations contacted me. I was a mess and couldn't go through with

prosecution, but I always stuck to my story. They all knew what the allegations were, but
none of them did anything to investigate. Everything was brushed under the carpet. The
teacher moved and continued teaching in a different part of Scotland."
Hollie had a complete breakdown. "I literally believed I was worthless," she said. "I got
into some not particularly healthy relationships and had problems with alcohol and selfharm."
Three years ago, Hollie found the courage to address what had happened. The police
investigated for more than a year and ultimately charged the teacher with, she thinks,
rape and assault. "But they were unable to prosecute because of Scotland's laws about
corroboratory evidence and the accused's right to silence," says Hollie. "The teacher sat
through a six-hour interview, replying 'No comment' to every question."
The legal case was also complicated because although it is now illegal for a teacher to
have a relationship with a pupil, their relationship began eight weeks before the date this
law came into effect. "So they couldn't prosecute him for that," she says. Nevertheless,
the teacher was suspended by the council in April 2010 and finally struck off the teaching
register last month. "He has been put on to the list of those barred from working
with children as a result of my evidence and the police investigation," says Hollie.
"It hurts more, the older I get," she says. "The closer I get to the age he was, the more I
realise how awful it was, what he did. I see how he manipulated my 15-year-old self and I
realise how someone of my age would know, absolutely, that it was completely wrong
and inappropriate to get into a relationship with someone of that age.
"I wish that someone had told me, when I was 15, that if the teacher in question really
loved me, he would never act on it. And I wish someone had told me that it was never,
ever my fault."
Professor Pat Sikes of the University of Sheffield has studied pupil and teacher
relationships, and challenges the notion that girls are necessarily powerless or exploited
in them, pointing out that a significant proportion end up marrying or living together in an
enduring and solid relationship.

She should know: Sikes first fell in love with her husband when she was 14 and he was
her 22-year-old teacher. Their sexual relationship, however, did not begin until he left the
school when she was 16. While stressing that girls need to be protected against
predatory male teachers, her study concludes that this should not be "through blanket
laws that have the effect of making all women into weak, potential victims".
Others describe relationships with teachers that were on the cusp of inappropriate and
caused parents and other teachers concern but were ultimately a positive experience.
Sapphire had an intense, albeit non-sexual, relationship with her maths teacher between
the ages of 13 and 18. "I don't tell people about our relationship because, looked at
through the eyes of someone who wasn't there, it sounds like a clear-cut case of, at best,
weirdness and at worst, manipulation and near-abuse," she says. "In fact, that wasn't the
case at all."
Sapphire's relationship with her teacher grew during their one-to-one, after-school
classes. "I was weak in maths and he took it upon himself to teach me so well that I went
on to study it at A-level," she says. "After those lessons, we would talk about all sorts of
intellectual and creative things. From him, I learned that the opposite sex could be
gentle, empathetic, clever, interesting and interested. I never had the slightest interest in
boys of my own age because, by comparison, they were sexually crass, emotionally
unreliable and intellectually dull. To this day, I'm grateful for that."
As Sapphire got older, however, the teacher became more intense. He prevented her
leaving his class when her grades improved enough to move into a higher set, insisting
that he would tutor her himself to pass the exams. "I began to find it all a bit
overwhelming, and backed off," she remembers. "There was a parents' evening around
then and my dad picked up on the atmosphere between us. He joked about it afterwards,
saying it was like we'd had a lover's tiff. I think my parents were a bit confused by it all.
They knew nothing explicitly wrong was going on and so they didn't quite know what do
to about it."
Soon afterwards, however, Sapphire's mother insisted she move to a different class.
"There were rumours in the staffroom about us and my teacher was warned to back off,"

she says. "He did as he was told, but I missed him. He was a really important part of my
life." She started going back to his classroom after school once a week. "We just talked,"
she says. As she neared 18, however, the relationship shifted. She began to grow away
from him and he became neurotic and, she says, "slightly stalkerish".
"I got the impression that things were nearing a climax. I had the definite feeling that he
was expecting something to happen after so many years of what I began to suspect was
what he thought of as having 'waited'. I found the thought of him waiting really creepy
and realised I had potentially got into something I hadn't genuinely understood," she
He sent Sapphire 18 red roses on her birthday and appeared at her class's leaving party.
"My friends formed a protective ring around me and every time he came near, they
spirited me away," she says. She left school and never saw him again. Two decades on,
she feels fondness and sadness for him. "I think he was a vulnerable man," she said. "I
vaguely worry that he remembers our relationship with pain. I hope he doesn't."
Katherine has even fonder memories of her relationship with a teacher. She was 15
when Tom came to teach at her girls' school. She moved to a sixth-form college at 16. A
week later, Tom asked her out on a date. "There weren't many male teachers at our
school so we were all very aware of this 23-year-old new staff member," says Katherine.
"He never taught me, but all my friends fancied him. I wasn't particuarly taken by him
until we went for that drink."
Two years after their first date, they were married. They had two children and the
marriage lasted for 30 years, until 2002, when Tom died.
Katherine says laws that prevent teachers and pupils having relationships are correct.
"He must have been noticing me when I was still a pupil at his school, but we
occasionally said to each other how lucky it was that he was no longer my teacher," she
says. "Had I stayed at that school, nothing would ever have happened between us
because that would have been completely wrong."

Some of the teachers at her old school, however, continued to disapprove of the
relationship, refusing to go to their wedding. "Their reaction was a complete surprise to
me and meant nothing. I wasn't dazzled by Tom. I suppose I was flattered at first,
because he was a teacher and an older man but only for that first date," she says.
"Our relationship was completely normal. Completely ordinary."
Some names have been changed.

Enochs High teacher resigns after leaving wife,

kids for student, 18
Feb 29, 2012 (The Modesto Bee - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -A 41-year-old Enochs High School teacher in Modesto has resigned and moved in with an
18-year-old student.

"In making our choice, we've hurt a lot of people," Hooker acknowledged. "We keep asking
ourselves, 'Do we make everyone else happy or do we follow our hearts?' " Hooker and
Enochs senior Jordan Powers said Tuesday in an interview at The Bee that they are making
a life for themselves "day by day." Powers was in Hooker's virtual business class and an
associated club until his suspension. They said they met when she was a freshman.
Tammie Powers, Jordan's mother, said she believes Hooker pursued her daughter. She said
her daughter's grades fell this year, and Jordan had panic attacks.
"I believe it was the stress of the lie," Tammie Powers said. She said her daughter was
"always compliant," kept her room tidy at their Waterford home and minded her curfew.
No R-rated movies until she was of age. No lone trips to the mall or the movies.
"I was really, really careful. I wanted her to be safe," she said.
"In hindsight, in retrospect, I should have looked at things differently," Powers said.
Powers said her first inkling that her daughter was involved with her teacher came Jan. 16,
during her young son's trip to the emergency room. Hooker came to the hospital with her
daughter, who left her phone with an older sister.

The reaction has been largely shock, disapproval and betrayal.

The teen's mother has waged a very public campaign on Facebook since last week, when
her daughter moved out of the family's home and into a Modesto apartment with the man.
He has left his wife and children, one of whom is a junior at Enochs.

Modesto police are investigating whether there was inappropriate contact before the girl
turned 18 in the fall.

The sister, suspicious, found dozens of text messages from Hooker. Powers said when she
confronted her daughter, she denied any romance existed. Still worried, Powers contacted
Modesto police detectives the next day.
Looking back over phone records, she said she found an estimated 8,000 text messages
between the teacher and student going back through the summer. In the fall, about 32
texts a day, starting at 6 a.m. were recorded, she said.

And school district and teachers union officials worry that an ethical and moral line has
been crossed, even if the student is legally an adult.

School officials contacted her about a week later with concerns, she said. Discussions
between police, school and the family continued for another week, ending with Hooker's
suspension Feb. 3.

James Hooker was placed on paid administrative leave Feb. 3 by Modesto City Schools and
resigned Feb. 22, he said Tuesday. Hooker taught business and computer classes, and he
was an adviser to three active campus clubs.

At that point, Powers said, she was assured by school officials that Hooker would stay
away, and her daughter said she was done with Hooker.
"She promised me they didn't have contact. I didn't know until last week there was a

sexual relationship. We didn't see any of it," Powers said.

the school that students in Hooker's classes will get credit for their work.

Jordan Powers' father died in 2001. Tammie Powers is engaged, and her fiance and one of
his children live with them, along with Jordan's younger brother. The mother said her
fiance "is horrified, but he's not going to fight with him." On Facebook, Powers has called
Hooker "an arrogant pervert," among other things, and urged readers to "help get the
word out" about his involvement with a student.

Hooker said he is forbidden to have contact with the students or staff at Enochs.

The hundreds of responses are, for the most part, supportive of her. Many express

Powers turned 18 on Sept. 5, and Modesto police say that makes her a consenting adult.
However, Lt. Rick Armendariz said there is an ongoing investigation involving a high school
teacher and student.

David Wainwright posted that he sees teacher and student as complicit in the relationship,
then added: "I just wouldn't of expected this from my fav teacher. What is the world
coming to?" Modesto City Schools Superintendent Pam Able confirmed Hooker's
resignation Tuesday morning.
"Allegations of Mr. Hooker having a relationship with a student is the source of great
concern for staff, students and parents. I consider student-teacher dating relationships to
be not only unprofessional, but immoral," Able said via e-mail.
Modesto City Schools Board President Ruben Villalobos said Tuesday: "Schools need to be
a safe place. Anything less than that is a failure." He said he could not comment on the
case, but said in general teacher-student romances are wrong "because of that unequal
balance of power." Such relationships are rare, said Megan Gowans, executive director of
the Modesto Teachers Association. She said the union offers training about lines teachers
should not cross, even with adult students. "In the teacher-student relationship, there's a
professional expectation that doesn't stop at age 18," Gowans said.

Hooker and Jordan Powers said their relationship was strictly teacher-student until midDecember, when they started talking more frequently and then dated. "I just kind of knew
that she's the one," he said.

Hooker confirmed Tuesday that he remains the object of a police probe. He said he is
confident he will be cleared of accusations that any physical relationship started while
Powers was a minor.
"There's no evidence of that. There's no proof of that. It didn't exist," Hooker said.
He said the criticism is part of a campaign of lies he and Powers face online and in person.
"I've been portrayed as a monster through all of this," Hooker said. "I'm not a monster.
I'm not any different than I've always been." Powers sat quietly by Hooker's side as he
spoke Tuesday. She said she is on independent study and doesn't attend classes at
Enochs, but intends to graduate and enroll in a four-year college to become a nurse. "I'm
walking the stage in May," she said.
Hooker said he hopes to get a job in the private sector. "We're just taking it day by day,"
he said.

Career may be over Hooker knows his decisions may have cost him his teaching career. He
taught business courses for 15 years and advised three campus clubs -- Future Business
Leaders of America, Mock Trial Club and Virtual Business Club.

Extra jobs such as the clubs earned Hooker $28,000 in added pay in 2009, the latest
figures immediately available. District records show Hooker made $110,537 that year.

Universities offer a variety of settings that encourage meaningful teaching and learning
relationships between faculty and students in classrooms, laboratories, studios, athletic
facilities, and other areas. Many academic experiences also lead to faculty-student
relationships such as advising, off-campus supervision, joint projects on research and

Enochs Principal Michael Coats said Tuesday that a new business teacher has been found,
and teachers will step in to advise the club teams. Coats has assured parents contacting

Faculty-Student Relationships

artistry, and extra-curricular activities. In these settings and experiences, faculty

members are expected to assume the role of teacher, advisor, supervisor, mentor, and
coach. These relationships are intended to be professional and foster free and open
exchange of ideas, productive learning, and the work that supports it (Portland
Community College, 2012). Having a good relationship with your students can help
students succeed academically and increase their overall satisfaction with the university
experience. However, one such relationship, the consensual romantic relationship, often
fails and can result in severe consequences for both the faculty member and the student.
Consensual romantic relationships are described as romantic, amorous and/or sexual
relationships between consenting employees and adult college students currently
enrolled at the university (Maricopa Community College, 2009). Northern Illinois
Universitys Policy on Relationships between University Employees and Students states
that a University employee should not be romantically or sexually involved with a student
whom he or she teaches, advises, coaches, or supervises in any way ( Division of
Academic Affairs, Academic Policies and Procedures 2010).
Incidents of consensual romantic relationships between faculty members and students
are not new to higher education and engaging in such relationships with students may
seem acceptable to those involved. However, the ramifications of these relationships can
be substantial. In consensual romantic relationships that might lead to sexual
harassment charges, which some do, the faculty member often bears the weight of the
charges. Also,

Such relationships may undermine the real or perceived integrity of the

supervision provided, and the particular trust inherent in the student-faculty

Relationships in which one party is in a position to review the work, or influence

the career of the other may provide grounds for complaint when that relationship
appears to give undue access or advantage, restricts opportunities, or creates a
hostile and unacceptable environment for others.

Such relationships may, moreover, be less consensual than the individual whose
position confers power believes. The relationship is likely to be perceived in
different ways by each of the parties to it, especially in retrospect. While some
relationships may begin and remain harmonious, they are susceptible to being
characterized as unprofessional and disrespectful to others (Portland
Community College, 2012).

University faculty members assume a level of liability in their actions toward and
conversations with students. Therefore, the best policy is to refrain from becoming
involved in a consensual romantic relationship with a student about whom you make
determinations or evaluations (Portland State University, 2012). Faculty who find
themselves in such a relationship should report the situation to their immediate
supervisor and remove themselves from academic or professional decisions about the
student (Portland Community College, 2012). In other words, have another individual
assess that students work and make final decisions related to their final performance in
the course. Conversely, students who are in a consensual romantic relationship with a
faculty member should not enroll in courses or participate in activities in which the faculty
member is associated.
Faculty-student consensual romantic relationships can lead to confusion, distrust, and
anger; subtleties can get you into trouble. For example, a young, vulnerable college
student can become infatuated with a faculty member who assumes a role of power and
that power differential, whether perceived or actual, may lead to an exploitive
relationship. Teaching assistants, who often are close in age to the students they teach,
can find themselves in confusing situations, not knowing where boundaries lie between
being a voice of authority and a friend (or more) of their students. (Knowing boundaries
was one of the most frequently mentioned responses by surveyed students who attended
the fall 2012 Teaching Assistant Orientation.) Some students may become angry when a
faculty member who flirted with them at an academic conference now shuns his or her
advances after class. Even if that individual student truly sees it as a consensual
relationship, others who observe the special nature of your relationship could perceive it

as third party harassment if they feel the student in that consensual relationship has
been advantaged through that special relationship. In any case, it is not your intentions
that may be important but it is how others perceive the behavior and the impact of your
Steps to take to avoid perceptions of improper relationships

Use appropriate language when meeting and talking with students.

Avoid use of suggestive remarks, jokes, cartoons, and certain websites in class
and when communicating with students (there is a level of risk when using
spontaneous and casual email messages and conversations).

Avoid hugging, touching, or having personal contact with students.

Make and enforce course policies.

Be aware of students who attempt to make advances toward you and firmly say

Know who you are with before acting in certain ways; actions can be

Avoid gossiping about students with colleagues, other students, family, and

Be fair and avoid capricious grading or showing favoritism when evaluating

student work.

Establish clear roles when supervising, advising, and teaching students.

Avoid shutting your office door fully when speaking to individual students.

Become familiar with university services for students who may request them or
show signs that they might need assistance beyond what you can provide. For
example, Counseling and Student Development Center, Health Services, Office
of the Ombudsperson, etc.

Know the support services available for faculty such as Office of the
Ombudsperson and the Employee Assistance Program.

Building meaningful relationships with your students is one of many benefits of being a
member of the university community. Consensual romantic relationships, however, can
have repercussions during and after the relationship has ended, especially for students.
Universities are writing new and enforcing existing policies on faculty-student
relationships. Although some of these policies do not outwardly forbid such relationships
between consenting adults, they highly discourage faculty from becoming [romantically]
involved with their students (Rimer, 2003). Violation of university policies on facultystudent relationships, including failure to report such relationships, can result in simple
reprimand to dismissal (Rimer, 2003). The underlying tone in university policies on
faculty-student consensual romantic relationships is this: Just dont get involved! And
because such policies exist does not mean that faculty and students cannot interact; use
common sense and keep interactions with your student both professional and teachingand learning-centered.
Special thanks to Deborah Haliczer, Division of Human Resources Services, for her
expertise and helpful input in writing this article.
Anyone with questions and concerns about faculty-student consensual relationships
should contact the NIU Office of Affirmative Action Office and Diversity Resources at
Upcoming workshop on campus-related relationships

Maintaining Constructive Relationships In and Out of the Classroom will be offered on

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. in the Illinois Room, Holmes Student
This workshop will address establishing and maintaining appropriate and constructive
relationships in the classroom. Participants will discuss issues of communication,
boundaries and relationships between faculty and students, both graduate and
undergraduate. This workshop moves beyond general topics of sexual harassment, and
addresses how to create and maintain supportive and mentoring relationships with
students, and junior colleagues and avoiding any perception that one is crossing the
boundary into personal relationships. The workshop will be presented by Deborah
Haliczer, Human Resources Services, Sarah Klaper, Ombudsperson, and Toni Tollerud,
Faculty and Supportive Professional Staff Personnel Advisor. Please call 815-753-6039
for more information on this workshop.

Conflict of Interest in Educational

Responsibilities Resulting from Consensual
Amorous or Sexual Relationships 1, 2
(All-University Policy)

effective teaching, learning and professional development. Because of the faculty

member, graduate assistant or other employees authority or power over the student,
inherently conflicting interests and perceptions of unfair advantage arise when a
faculty member, graduate teaching assistant or other employee assumes or
maintains educational responsibility for a student with whom the faculty member,
graduate teaching assistant or other employee has engaged in amorous or sexual
It is, therefore, the policy of Michigan State University that each faculty member,
graduate teaching assistant and other University employee who has educational
responsibilities for students shall not assume or maintain educational responsibility
for a student with whom the faculty member, graduate teaching assistant or other
employee has engaged in amorous or sexual relations, even if such relations were
consensual. Whether such amorous or sexual relationships predate the assumption
of educational responsibility for the student, or arise out of the educational
relationship, the faculty member, graduate teaching assistant or other employee shall
immediately disclose the amorous or sexual relationship to the relevant unit
administrator, who shall promptly arrange other oversight for the student.
In unusual circumstances, the achievement of the affected students academic
requirements may necessitate continued oversight of the affected student by the
faculty member, graduate teaching assistant or other University employee who has
engaged in amorous or sexual relations with that student. In such circumstances the

An amorous or sexual relationship between a student and a faculty member, a

unit administrator shall, therefore, have authority, after consulting the affected

graduate teaching assistant or another University employee who has educational

student, to permit the continued oversight of the affected student by the faculty

responsibility for that student may impair or undermine the ongoing trust needed for

member, graduate teaching assistant or other University employee, provided that the

faculty member, graduate teaching assistant or other University employee shall not
grade or otherwise evaluate, or participate in the grading or other evaluation of, the
work of the affected student, and that the alternative arrangements for grading or
evaluating the affected students work treat the student comparably to other

Why Student-Teacher Relationships Are Never OK

Too often when I see the word, "teacher" in a headline these days, it quickly is
followed by the words, "sex scandal." Almost everyone would agree that teachers
who become physically involved with their students are clearly in the wrong. Sex
crimes are sex crimes, and they're (to quote Law and Order: SVU) particularly
heinous against children. Teachers who sexually assault students generally get
fired, sued, arrested, or some combination of the three. But more and more
frequently I read or hear about teachers and students entering into inappropriate
relationships that don't necessarily involve physical contact. What happens in
these grey areas? When there is no actual assault, or even overt physical contact,
but just flagrant intent? From what I've seen, these teachers get off scot-free, or
with a minor slap on the wrist. This is extremely problematic.

As a teenage girl, I know just how often I feel like an adult. I believe that I can
and do make many of my own mature decisions about sex and my sexuality. The
reality is, however, that teenagers are often emotionally unstable. We are more
psychologically akin to children, even though we are sexually developed. This
helps explain why young girls are attracted to older men: adults simultaneously
provide the promise of security and emotional safety, and the opportunity for a
teenager to feel like an adult, sexually. So it should come as no surprise that
adolescents develop crushes on their male and female teachers.
It does surprise me, however, that these teachers return the sentiments. I get it.
Teenage girls are hot, and we are masters of flirting and teasing. So the logic goes,
it would be unreasonable to expect a male teacher not to notice whether or not
his students are attractive. But noticing is one thing; acting on their impulses in
any way on the spectrum from flirting with a student to touching her is quite
There are protocols in place for students to report teachers who have committed
crimes. I worry, however, about teachers who cross boundaries, but take
advantage of the grey area between a casual student teacher relationship and a
romantic one. Teachers who simply flirt with their students present an entirely
different kind of threat than do traditional child molesters. Namely, they threaten
the emotional and mental stability of teenagers who already have a plethora of
stressors in their lives.
The last thing teenagers need to worry about, on top of social pressure, financial
pressure, schoolwork, standardized tests, peer friendships and romance, and
everything else that comes along with the tumultuous stage of adolescence, is
being a source of romantic pleasure for their teachers.

With the advent of technology and online communication, teachers have perhaps
never had more opportunities to foster relationships with their students outside
of the classroom. Thanks to social networking, teachers can now communicate
with their students through emails, texts and instant messages. Oftentimes,
behind the safety of a screen, teachers forget their roles as mentors and figures of
authority. Instead, they fall into the trap of talking to their students intimately as
if they were romantic interests, and thus potential sex objects.
With just a screen and some charming language, in the privacy of their own
homes, teachers might forget they are talking to confused, acne-plagued, shy
teenagers from their classrooms. Perhaps they enjoy the distraction or attention
or compliments they are receiving, becoming too easily seduced. Teachers seem
to be finding themselves unable to separate their professions from their personal
lives, a risk they should not be able to afford.

Allow me to state this explicitly: teachers who are unable to set boundaries with
students have no place in the classroom. I don't care if he or she never touched,
or even intended to touch a student. I don't care if she was asking for it. I don't
care if he initiated it. The teacher has the responsibility as a figure of authority to
end it before it begins, and to never propagate it.
As a country, we need to ensure that our schools have a zero-tolerance policy for
sexual harassment of any kind. Of course, there needs to be evidence. A teacher
must have his or her, "day in court," so to speak. And most are obviously
wonderful, moral and hard-working individuals. But we cannot gamble on our
students' educations because we're unwilling to fire teachers who have acted
inappropriately, on the bases that it's a "grey area."