Jason Alan Obert walks away from the Creep Catchers camera crew and into the Sevenoaks Shopping Centre parking lot after being filmed Oct. 14, 2016.

Jason Alan Obert walks away from the Creep Catchers camera crew and into the Sevenoaks Shopping Centre parking lot after being filmed Oct. 14, 2016.

Former Mission principal given 15-year teaching ban following Creep Catchers sting

B.C.’s Teacher Regulation Branch ruled on Jason Alan Obert’s punishment on Dec. 3

A former Mission principal filmed in a child-luring sting by the vigilante group Creep Catchers has been given a 15-year ban by the B.C.’s Teacher Regulation Branch (TRB).

Jason Alan Obert was a principal at Windebank Elementary until being filmed attempting to meet with two fictitious girls – who said they were 14 and 15 – at Sevenoaks Shopping Centre in Abbotsford in 2016.

In July, the TRB determined his conduct was unbecoming of a teacher, and a panel ruled on the appropriate punishment on Dec. 3.

“The respondent’s unbecoming conduct seriously undermined the public’s confidence in the education system, as well as the dignity and credibility of the teaching profession,” the panel ruled. “The practical effect of a 15-year ban in this case is that it is extremely unlikely the respondent will ever be able to qualify to teach again.”

RELATED: Former Mission principal claims he was ‘researching’ Creep Catchers, after being filmed in child-luring sting

Obert admitted to exchanging text messages with the girls for over a month using a pseudonym “James 33” on the website Skout. The texts included sexualized comments, requests for pictures, questions about whether the girls “smoked weed” and offers to buy them alcohol.

Both the girls were actually the creation of Chelsea Bullon, the founder of the Fraser Valley Creep Catchers. After filming Obert during an attempted meet up in October, 2016 the group posted the video to Youtube.

Mission’s Superintendent Angus Wilson became aware of the video shortly afterwards. The school district immediately suspended Obert, and fired him in November, 2016.

Wilson gave testimony regarding the damage Obert’s actions had on the school, parents, teachers and the community at large.

Criminal charges were brought against him that same month, but the Crown stayed the proceedings in July, 2017, after Obert entered a recognizance with conditions.

Although he had no record of misconduct prior to the sting, and did his conduct did not involve persons from the school district, the commissioner said his actions were not separate from his role as an educator.

In the text messages, some of which were sent during or shortly after work hours, Obert asks the girls about their school work and offered to “tutor” one of them.

Throughout the previous TRB hearing and investigation, Obert claimed he was researching the vigilante group for a fictional or non-fictional work he planned to write. He’s repeatedly said that he knew the girls were non minors and, in fact, members of Creep Catchers, but that both he and Bullon knew they were playing roles.

The panel found his explanation “not plausible,” particularly because of undisputed evidence that he aborted a first meeting under suspicion the girls were not who they said they were.

“The respondent’s explanation and justification for his conduct suggests that the respondent is not willing to fully accept responsibility for his conduct and, in particular, to acknowledge the effect of his conduct on the school community and the public’s confidence in the teaching profession,” the panel ruled. “The respondent knew his conduct was problematic and likely criminal, but he continued it for over a month.”

The panel also said that Obert could have immediately ceased contact with the girls when they admitted to him that they were minors, but did not.

The TRB commissioner, who asked for a 25-year ban, submitted Obert’s conduct is an “affront to the status and reputation of teachers,” and unequivocally stated that “sexual conduct by teachers or other authorized persons towards minors is career-ending.”

RELATED: Fraser Valley school principal allegedly on Creep Catchers video


@portmoodypigeon
patrick.penner@missioncityrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

abbotsfordMission

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

..
Abbotsford nurse at ‘breaking point’ pleads with public to take COVID-19 seriously

Instagram post urges general population to stay home, wear a mask and get vaccinated

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) (File Photo)
IIO investigating after man seriously injured by police dog during Abbotsford arrest

Independent Investigations Office looking into incident from March 6 in 3700 block of Davie Street

Westbound Highway 1 traffic near Herrling Island is backed up a long way following a vehicle incident. (Photo/Trish Dunbar)
Pedestrian killed in crash near Herrling Island

Woman in her 50s struck by moving van

A COVID-19 vaccination clinic is open every Thursday in Hope at the Legion for the age-based vaccine rollout. But now anyone aged 40 and older can also book an appointment at a pharmacy for the AstraZeneca vaccine. (Jessica Peters/ Hope Standard)
Hope residents 40 and older can now get vaccinated at participating pharmacies

Remedy’s RX pharmacist said the response from the public was immediate following announcement

Future Finlandia Lion Ian Heagy with his biggest fan, mom Jen Heagy. (submitted photo)
Chilliwack hockey player Ian Heagy defies the odds to land at Finlandia

Having never played a minute of rep, Heagy is making the jump from house to NCAA Div 2 hockey

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

Welcome to your park sign marks the spot where 84th Avenue will continue east from King George Boulevard to 140th Street as part of a $13 million road project. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Road Rage: Opposition mounts anew to Surrey’s Bear Creek traffic plan

Same place, same project, same fight as Surrey prepares once again to connect 84th Avenue between King George and 140th Street in Newton

A native-to-B.C. wild queen bee (bombus melanopygus for those in the know) feeds on a periwinkle flower. (Submitted/Sarah Johnson, Native Bee Society of BC)
B.C.’s wild bees need messy gardens to survive

The year-long nesting period makes habitat a primary concern for wild bees

FILE – Health-care workers wave to people clapping and yelling thank you to the frontline workers during the 7 p.m.-tribute outside the Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, April 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. nurses issue plea for all to follow health orders as hospitalizations spike

Nurses worried about strain COVID-19 is having on hospital capacity, care

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. The University of Victoria says Williams has resigned effective immediately. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
University of Victoria women’s rowing coach resigns by mutual agreement

Lawsuit filed last summer accused Barney Williams of verbal abuse

Former B.C. premier Christy Clark. (Black Press Media files)
Former B.C. premier to testify at money laundering hearing today

Attorney General David Eby has been added to the witness list as well

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. to table budget that’s expected to deal with COVID-19 pandemic and beyond

Robinson released a fiscal update last December that said the impact of the pandemic on B.C.’s economy was uncertain

Fire consumed a condo development project under construction at 208th Street and 80th Avenue Monday night. Many spectators shared their images. (Daniel Gerstner/Instagram: @gerstner/Special to Langley Advance Times)
UPDATE: Elementary school closed as Langley deals with aftermath of massive condo fire

Firefighters remained on scene at 208th Street and 80th Avenue for much of Tuesday night

Most Read