Teacher-student sex bill sidelined
April 18, 2012
Democrats in the Assembly Public Safety Committee killed a proposal Tuesday that would have made sexual relationships and communications between teachers and students a felony — even when the participants are adults. [Sacramento Bee]
Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto) introduced her bill in response to a recent incident in which teacher James Hooker, 41, and an 18-year-old student moved in together following her graduation. Both claim the relationship was not sexual before she turned 18.
Expressing concern about the constitutionality of the proposal, committee chairman Tom Ammiano said he was bothered by the Modesto incident but said he thought there were too many other problems with the bill.
“I feel it’s not fully baked,” he said. The plan also would have deprived teachers found in violation of pension benefits, as well as criminal sanctions.
The bill would not have affected cases retroactively. Hooker and the girl are no longer living together, as he has been arrested for a sexual relationship with another student years ago.