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Mississippi Teacher Confesses to Inappropriate Relationship with Student, Planned Elopement in Louisiana

A 38-year-old high school teacher in Mississippi has admitted to engaging in a sexual relationship with one of his underage students, with plans to elope in Louisiana, according to statements made by a Jackson County sheriff official in court this week.

James Donald Hawkins II, a former physics teacher at Ocean Springs High School, was arrested on November 30 and charged with felony se*xual battery. The arrest followed the disclosure of the alleged advances by the 17-year-old student to her parents, local WLOX reported.

According to Jackson County Sheriff Captain Kristen Johnson, the victim reported that the inappropriate relationship began in the spring of 2023 before the end of the last school year.

The abuse reportedly started after Hawkins provided consolation to the student, who was distressed over a school-related issue. Hawkins admitted in court that they had engaged in sexual activities approximately once a month, both at his house and in the student’s car.

Hawkins, who is married with a young toddler, was released on a $150,000 bond and has been ordered not to contact the teenager by Judge Calvin Taylor. The investigation into Hawkins is ongoing, and authorities suggest that additional charges may be filed in the future, AL.com reported

The Ocean Springs School District, where Hawkins had been employed since 2022, terminated his employment following the arrest. In response to the incident, the school district expressed deep concern and labeled the felony charge against Hawkins as “disturbing and intolerable.”

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.

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