A Delta, British Columbia, high school instructor who was targeted in a sting by Creep Catchers has been banned from teaching for life.
An anonymous caller reported Simon William Isbister to his school district and the British Columbia Ministry of Education in 2018 after a video of his encounter with the vigilante group was posted online.
The recording showed the teacher being confronted inside a Tim Hortons restaurant, where he allegedly intended to meet a 12-year-old girl.
The district suspended Isbister shortly after receiving the complaint, and he later resigned from his job. The incident was eventually reviewed by the British Columbia Teachers’ Regulatory Commissioner, who decided this month to revoke his teaching certificate and bar him from getting another one.
Isbister has demonstrated “gross misconduct that undermines public confidence in the education system,” Commissioner Howard Kushner wrote in a consent agreement posted online Tuesday.
According to the documents, Isbister’s troubles began when he responded to a listing in Craigslist’s “Casual Encounters” section in November 2017.
While the listing was supposedly from an 18-year-old woman, the respondent quickly identified herself as a girl named Sierra who “was 13”. In fact, it was someone associated with the Surrey Creep Catchers.
“Ahh, hi! Thank you for your message. Thirteen is very young. I don’t know how I feel about it,” Isbister replied, according to the consent agreement.
The teacher then asked if Sierra had “played with a lot of older guys”. When she said yes, he replied, “May they be lucky!”
When the two began to meet later, Isbister expressed some hesitation, writing, “I’m really curious to meet you, but also nervous. I could be in a lot of trouble for meeting a girl so young, don’t is this not?”
The Creep Catchers associate promised she would “never tell anyone (sic)”.
Isbister eventually agreed to go to a Tim Hortons, where he was ambushed by a member of the Surrey Creep Catchers. In a recorded conversation inside the restaurant, the teacher told the vigilante group that he only agreed to meet because he was concerned about the girl.
The Commissioner for Teacher Regulation has determined that a lifetime ban on teaching in the K-12 education system – whether in public or private schools – is warranted because the conduct of Isbister “lasted several days and showed a persistent tendency to meet ‘Sierra’.”
The teacher’s acknowledgment that his communications could get him into trouble was also factored into the decision, Kushner said.
By signing the document, Isbister admitted that the events described in the consent agreement are true and agreed not to dispute them orally or in writing.