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

Langley RCMP are looking for witnesses to an apparent shoot out between two vehicles in Langley City and Brookswood on Saturday morning. (Langley Advance Times files)
Shots fired between speeding cars in Brookswood, Langley City

One or both cars were firing shots at the other in the middle of the night

Township of Langley civic facility. (Langley Advance Times files)
Budget shortfall shrinking in Langley Township

Staff showed council a tightened up budget, without borrowing, on Monday

A Langley woman said she was shaken by the angry encounter. (Google Maps)
Woman shaken after belligerent encounter with unmasked man in Langley store

A man angry about vaccines berated a fellow shopper, a witness said

Cody Younker, Revelstoke city councillor. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke councillor accused of sexually abusing Langley teen while school chaperone

Lawsuit alleges Cody Younker sexually abused student while volunteering on school trips

Jen Papageorge, 52, with her teenage daughters Keira and Talia are members of the Westcoast Harmony Chorus. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

A child joins the Uke ‘n Play kickoff event at the Chilliwack Library on Oct. 1, 2016. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Events return, in virtual form, at Fraser Valley Regional Library

People can take part in ukulele jam, bullet journaling, reading groups and more

Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. gaming grants reorganized for COVID-19 priorities

Minister highlights community kitchens, food banks

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

Most Read