B.C. instructor targeted in Creep Catchers sting banned from teaching for life
An empty classroom is seen in this file photo. (The Canadian Press)
VANCOUVER -- A high school instructor from Delta, B.C., who was targeted in a Creep Catchers sting has been banned from teaching for life.
An anonymous caller reported Simon William Isbister to his school district and to B.C.'s Ministry of Education back in 2018 after 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 had allegedly intended to meet with 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 B.C.'s commissioner for teacher regulation, who decided this month to cancel his teaching certificate and ban him from ever obtaining another one.
Isbister demonstrated "serious misconduct that undermines the public confidence in the education system," commissioner Howard Kushner wrote in a consent agreement posted online Tuesday.
According to the documents, Isbister's trouble began when he responded to a listing in the "Casual Encounters" section of Craigslist in November 2017.
While the listing purported to be from an 18-year-old woman, the person who answered quickly identified herself as a girl named Sierra who was "turning 13." In fact, it was someone associated with Surrey Creep Catchers.
"Ahh, hi! Thanks for your note. Thirteen is very young though. Not sure how I feel about that," Isbister responded, according to the consent agreement.
The teacher went on to ask if Sierra had "played with many older guys." When she said yes, he replied, "Lucky them!"
When the two later began arranging to meet, Isbister expressed some hesitation, writing: "I'm really curious to meet you, but nervous too. I could get into a lot of trouble for meeting a girl so young, right?"
The Creep Catchers associate promised she would "never tell ne one (sic)."
Isbister eventually agreed to drive to a Tim Hortons, where he was ambushed by a member of Surrey Creep Catchers. During a recorded conversation inside the restaurant, the teacher told the vigilante group he only agreed to meet because he was concerned about the girl.
The commissioner for teacher regulation determined that a lifetime ban on teaching in the kindergarten to Grade 12 education system – either in public or private schools – was warranted because Isbister's conduct "spanned several days and showed a pattern of persistence in meeting with 'Sierra.'"
The teacher's acknowledgement that his communications could get him in trouble also factored into the decision, Kushner said.
In signing the document, Isbister admitted the events described in the consent agreement are true and agreed not to dispute them orally or in writing.