Teachers should not be prosecuted for having affairs with their sixth formers, a union chief has said. NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said it was an "anomaly" that a teacher who had sex with a pupil aged over 16 could go on the sex offenders register. She told ITV's Tonight programme the law was wrong because a teacher could legally enter a relationship with a sixth former at another school. Child protection professionals have criticised her comments.
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Her daughter, student Jordan Powers, 18, and former teacher James Hooker went public with their romance on " Good Morning America " earlier this month. Hooker quit his job last month and left his family. Powers stopped attending classes and switched to independent study. They later moved into an apartment together. The couple have always said their relationship became sexual only after Powers turned 18, meaning there was nothing illegal about their actions under California law. Tammie Powers is looking to change that and has taken action to prevent this from happening to another parent.
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Institutions tend to either ban student-faculty dating altogether or where a supervisory relationship exists. The ages of the couple -- her, 25; him, 71 -- are unusually far apart. Princeton, like a growing number of institutions, has banned all student-faculty relationships, including for graduate students.
Too often when I see the word, "teacher" in a headline these days, it quickly is followed by the words, "sex scandal. 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.