Schoolgirl Crush

He was a popular teacher at Council Rock South — renowned for his dedication to his students. She was a high-school senior — pretty, smart, and going places. At a time when the divide between child and adult is harder and harder to find, was their next step nearly inevitable?

The next night was Council Rock South’s winter ball. Afterward, Jane went to Hawkins’s townhouse. They had intercourse, and slept in the king-size bed. She stayed until the following afternoon.

Jane started going to his townhouse three or four times a week. Almost every time, they had sex. Half the time, she would spend the night; her parents thought she was staying at a friend’s house.

Jane had gone to the Middle East the previous summer, where she bought a hookah — a glass pipe for smoking marijuana. She smoked once or twice a week, and brought some to Hawkins’s condo; it gave him a headache. One night, Hawkins pulled a sex toy, a tan rubber dildo, from a bedside drawer, Jane told police.

Robert Hawkins also told Jane that he loved her, and that he wanted to marry her. They would live in New Hope, and they would have hardwood floors.

Hawkins joined a running club in order to run, on Sundays, with her parents. Telling her parents — they debated over when to do it. Hawkins said that at least her parents getting to know him would make it easier for them to accept the relationship. She said they had to stop discussing marriage. It made her anxious. He told her he wanted her to meet his father.

In this way — both slowly and at warp speed — a full-scale love affair between a middle-aged math teacher with two chins and his comely star student took off. Over the course of four months, Jane and Hawkins called or texted each other via cell phone some 7,000 times — almost 60 times a day.

In retrospect, it was a remarkable feat, to keep their tryst rolling for four months before anyone blew the whistle, given how much was known, by both students and teachers. Or could have been, quite easily. Sex was hiding, as it were, in plain sight at Council Rock South.

ROBERT HAWKINS HAD a history, an ongoing history, you might say.

Barbara Cavanaugh taught at Council Rock, until August 25th, when she was one of two teachers fired for keeping mum about the affair with Jane Kenton. (Another teacher close to Hawkins resigned.) She and Hawkins go way back. She told police that in 1982, she was his German teacher at Holy Ghost Prep; he went off to college, then came back to Holy Ghost to teach math, and they became lovers.

In 1997, she was hired by Council Rock, following Hawkins, who’d started a year earlier. She initially told police that Hawkins left Holy Ghost to pursue a graduate degree, but when pressed, she came up with something else: A student’s mother invited him to her house to play Trivial Pursuit; Hawkins fell asleep on the couch, and awoke to the woman touching him. The woman’s ex-husband was outside, and took a photo of Hawkins’s car. The conservative priest who ran the school, according to Cavanaugh, asked Hawkins to leave.

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