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Not a Pedophile by a Long Shot

James Hooker’s poor judgment (he could have waited a few months until after Jordan Powers graduated) cost him his job and now he has been accused of having a sexual affair fourteen years ago with a 17 year old (this is an alleged accusation and may not be true although the details are compelling).

However, Jordan Powers is 18 and in California 18 is the age of consent (the average age of consent in most states in the US is 16). Regardless of opinions that she is still a child, she hasn’t been a child since probably the age of 13, and her mother doesn’t have to like her daughter’s choices of who to love, but she should drop the pedophile accusations. A 41 year old man having an affair with an 18 year old is not being a pedophile. The definition for pedophile is: The act of fantasy on the part of an adult of engaging in sexual activity with a child or children. Powers stopped being a biological child four to six year ago and I’m sure she has a mind of her own regardless of her judgement falling in love with a man more than twice her age.

I taught middle and high school for most of thirty years, and believe me, once a young girl becomes an adolescent capable of being pregnant, most are not the so-called innocent child we want to believe in.

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Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

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Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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Bazaar Daily News

MODESTO, CALIF: According to Yahoo News,  18 year old Jordan Powers is stupid enough to have actually taken James Hooker back as her boyfriend even though he was arrested for oral copulation of a minor from back in the 90’s.,

Yahoo notes that the two have moved back in together despite the wishes of her mother Tammie Powers, whom I might add is knowingly soaking up the attention she’s received on Facebook.

I don’t condone this kinds of relationships, but this mum just irks me. She’s loving every bit of attention she’s getting.

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Needs versus Education – What comes first? – Part 5/5

Child Help.org says, “Over 3 million reports of child abuse are made every year in the United States; however, those reports can include multiple children. In 2009, approximately 3.3 million child abuse reports and allegations were made involving an estimated 6 million children.”

Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education.

RAINN.org says, “Fifteen percent of sexual assault and rape victims are under age 12 and 29% are age 12 – 17. Three percent of boys grades 5 to 8 and 5% of boys in grades 9 to 12 said they have been sexually abused.

“Children that are victims of sexual assault are three times more likely to suffer from depression, six times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol, 26 times more likely to abuse drugs and 4 times more likely to contemplate suicide.”

The No Child Left Behind Act mandates (without directly saying so) that teachers are to overcome all of these challenges without any changes taking place outside the public schools when hunger, homelessness, gang and crime statistics, child abuse, etc. impact a child’s life.

However, when survival comes first in a child’s life, and other essential needs are not met, education takes a back seat and teachers in the public schools will not overcome these challenges no matter what mandate the federal government votes into law or how many critics claim America’s public school teachers are failing.

With these challenges, it is amazing that teachers have accomplished what they have.

For example, in California, 53.9% of Black or African American students in the public schools have met the English Language Arts Target while 56.3% have met the Mathematics Target.

Yet, in the United States, sixty-seven percent (67%) of Black-African American children live in single-family homes.  In addition, more than 35% live in poverty.

Among Hispanic/Latino children, more than 33% live in poverty, while less than 12% of white children do and about 13% of Asians.

The numbers of students that fail or succeed in school is easily explained by the numbers of those living in poverty, in communities dominated by youth gangs, and those that live in single parent homes.

Asking America’s public school teachers to overcome these obstacles is the same as telling someone to climb Mount Everest nude and without any climbing gear.  Only ignorant fools or people with political agendas based on greed or ideology would make such accusations.

The facts say, when a child’s basic needs are met, that child is ready to learn and not until then and the complexity of what it means to make sure every child’s basic needs are met is difficult to identify and achieve.  We cannot expect the government or teachers to solve everything for everyone. Individuals must take responsiblity for their lives and that means parents too.

Teacher’s cannot push these child to the next level in literacy or math even with the threat of lost jobs and closed schools.

Return to Needs versus Education – What comes first? – Part 4 or start with Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.

 

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Needs versus Education – What comes first? – Part 4/5

The National Center for Children in Poverty says, “Nearly 15 million children in the United States – 21% of all children – live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level – $22,050 a year for a family of four. Research shows that, on average, families need an income of about twice that level to cover basic expenses. Using this standard, 42% of children live in low-income families.

“Most of these children have parents who work,” NCCP.org says, “but low wages and unstable employment leave their families struggling to make ends meet. Poverty can impede children’s ability to learn and contribute to social, emotional, and behavioral problems.”

However, poverty is not the only challenge to overcome. Being loved and belonging to a family was on the third step in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs blocking a child’s need to earn an education, which was on step four and five.

In fact, the Heritage Foundation reports, “How Broken Families Rob Children of Their Chances for Future Prosperity”. The growth in the number of children born into broken families in America—from 12  of every 100 born in 1950 to 58 of every 100 born in 1992, has become a seemingly unbreakable cycle that the federal government not only continues to ignore, but even promotes through some of its policies.

Statistics and studies show that children who grow up in a stable, two-parent family have the best prospects for achieving income security as adults,” and today only 47% of children live with both of their original parents.

Then there is child abuse, which sabotages a child ability to leave the second level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs where it clearly says safety of health, body, morality and of the family must be satisfied before an individual’s needs change.

Continued on August 18, 2011, in Needs versus Education – What comes first? – Part 5 or return to Part 3

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions

 

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The Sexual Molestation of the Happy One – Part 7/7

The day I discovered the principal was not going to do anything about Macario, I finished my workday at 6:00 PM and drove to the police station that served the neighborhood where Macario lived, which was a fifteen-minute drive in the opposite direction I would take to go home and the drive home usually took an hour in the afternoon and evening due to rush hour traffic.

When I arrived, the lobby at the police station had several other people already there waiting to talk to the officer working the counter. While I waited, I broke out the red ink and correct student work.

I had to wait a half hour before I could talk to the officer on duty and get the proper forms then spend another thirty to forty minutes filling out the forms, which resulted in a squad car with two officers visiting Macario’s home to question him and his parents then report the incident to child services, who then became involved.

After child services became involved, Macario had more counseling in addition to the school counselor, his mood improved but the joker in teen was gone.  He even started to do the schoolwork in my class and managed to bring his grade up to a “C” or a “B” by the end of second semester.

To do this, he spent more time at Janice’s house doing homework and a few years later he graduated then I lost contact with him and Janice never hearing from them again.

Moreover, Macario was one of about 6,000 students that I taught during my thirty years in the classroom. I have hundreds of stories similar to this one but not about sexual abuse.

According to studies, one in six men has been sexually assaulted by the age of 16. Source: Sexual Abuse of Males

Return to The Sexual Molestation of the Happy One – Part 6 or start with Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.

 

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The Sexual Molestation of the Happy One – Part 3/7

Macario was a talker and loved to be funny and get people to laugh, which wasn’t always welcome when it disrupted a lesson.

However, I must admit, even when Macario interrupted a lesson with one of his off-the-wall jokes or comments, I often laughed too.   It was impossible not to like him.

Then, as he often did after he cracked the entire class up, he would apologize.

Janice, on the other hand, was an “A” student that enjoyed reading books and was as determined as I was to motivate Macario to do the school work and study.

I conspired with Janice to find ways to trick him into doing his homework, which even for the young girl that loved him was a challenge. He was more into having fun than being serious about anything.

Some might wonder why I didn’t contact his parents. In fact, I had called them several times over the months and even had a face-to-face parent conference, but his study habits did not change.  I tried referrals to the counselor, and assigned after school detentions and even a Saturday school. Nothing worked

That is when I made the decision to see if Janice could help.

Between us, Janice and I managed to squeeze a “D” out of Macario in English his first semester in high school.  Without her efforts, he would have failed.

To make a long story shorter but not too short, I kept Macario after class that day and asked him what was wrong. He swore nothing was wrong but I could tell by the look in his eyes that he was disturbed and had lied to me because he glanced away to stare at the floor when he answered the question.

This was unusual since Macario had never lied to me. When confronted for something I saw him do in class, he always admitted guilt and said he was sorry (once again).

However, when Janice came into fifth period after lunch, I asked her what was going on and she told me everything she knew.

To be continued on June 15, 2011 in The Sexual Molestation of the Happy One – Part 4 or return to Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.

 

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The Sexual Molestation of the Happy One – Part 2/7

Since I don’t remember the student’s name and will not spend the time to search my files to find it, I will call him Macario because he was a happy boy of 14 when I knew him.

Macario was in my fourth period class before lunch and he wasn’t a good student and seldom did his work but he was a good person and someone easy to like and almost impossible to get angry at.

I also knew his girlfriend, who I will call Janice, since she was in my fifth period class after lunch. The couple often came to my class at lunch when my high school journalism students were working. The chess club also met there to play chess and the high school environmental club met there once a month to plan hikes and projects.

One would think that spending lunch with friends outside would be preferable to a teen.

If you knew the high school where I taught and the gang culture that dominated it, it made sense that good kids would want to find a sanctuary from the potential violence. The gang culture then was large enough that it brought an armed sheriff’s deputy to campus daily, who sat in his squad car in the mall where most of the kids ate lunch and where all the gang bangers could see that shotgun attached to the dash.

The high school also had an unarmed squad of campus police officers.

However, getting Macario to read or do homework was a challenge and 75% of the way through the school year, I wasn’t having much success beyond the minimum necessary to keep his girlfriend from leaving him.

Macario wasn’t interested in school work or reading books, but he was always in a good mood and happy, which is what made me suspicious something happened the one morning he came to class early and with a dazed, disturbed look on his face and didn’t say a word all period.

To go an entire period without attempting to get others to laugh was not Macario.  At first, I thought he may have broken up with Janice, or a family member died or maybe his parents had separated and were going to get a divorce. I had no idea that Macario had been sexually molested.

That day Macario and Janice did not show up for lunch.

When Janice came to fifth, I asked if she’d had an argument with Macario or had broken up with him.

To be continued on June 14, 2011 in The Sexual Molestation of the Happy One – Part 3 or return to Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.

 

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The Sexual Molestation of the Happy One – Part 1/7

It’s strange what triggers a memory.  This memory should have been triggered when my wife and I were watching the Oprah show on November 5, 2010, where she had 200 adult men in her audience that had been sexually molested as children.

As millions know, Oprah was abused as a child and is seriously passionate about the awareness of sexual child abuse.

What triggered this memory was a series of stories such as Anthony Weiner‘s inappropriate Twitter exchanges with a 17-year old girl and French writer Tristane Banon, who refuses to testify in the Strauss-Khan U.S. sexual molestation case.

At this point, you may be thinking that this is about me being sexually molested as a child but no, that is not the story.

This “true” story is about a ninth grade student of mine while I was still teaching high school English.

Since I wrote many of my reports on a computer and kept them on a USB drive, I probably still have this report and the name of the boy that was molested stored away somewhere in a file, but I doubt if I would ever find it since that CPU is now on a shelf and has been replaced by a series of newer, faster computers over the years.

California has a law that mandates educators must report suspected child abuse or the educator (including teachers) may lose his or her job and never work in education in California again.

In California “child abuse” refers to physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, and severe emotional abuse. The pdf. document to educate educators and/or teachers is 85 pages long and comes with a test.  Source: Mandated Reporter Ca.com

If you are curious what this training entails, click on the above link and discover the training I had one year.  We may not have used this exact manual, but we had one and spent several hours in a workshop learning what to do and what happened if we didn’t do anything.

The penalties for failure to report are severe. “A person who fails to make a required report is guilty of misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and/or up to a $1,000 fine.… Educators who fail to report may also risk loss of their license or credential,” which means losing your job as an educator/teacher.

During my 30 years as a teacher, I filed one report.  It was the only time that I suspected that one of my students had been sexually molested.

To be continued on June 13, 2011 in The Sexual Molestation of the Happy One – Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.

 

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