The former head of a private school near Nanaimo has been banned from teaching for 15 years after he sent sexually explicit messages and tried to meet with what he thought was a 15-year-old boy.
A consent resolution agreement published Tuesday by the British Columbia Commissioner for Teacher Regulation says principal Mark Louis Pierotti relinquished his teaching certificate last September, approximately 10 days after his school filed a report with the commissioner about his behaviour.
Pierotti was the head of Aspengrove School, a private kindergarten-to-Grade 12 school in Lantzville, when he used the dating app Grindr to contact a male whose app profile said he was 21 years old.
Pierotti initiated the conversation last August by sending the message, “Hello there sexy,” and inviting the young person over for a drink, according to the consent resolution agreement, as well as images of the conversation posted online by the Facebook group South Island Predator Publishing.
‘IT’S NOT LEGAL’
The male responded that he was, in fact, 15 years old but had to say he was 21 to use the app.
The following day, Pierotti and the alleged youth exchanged more messages and arranged to meet, with Pierotti asking the youth if he was at least 16 years old and if he likes to “make out.”
“So the age of consent is 16 in bc [sic]. Just need to know you are 16 or older,” Pierotti wrote.
“16 in like 4 months,” the male replied.
“You know. Better not,” Pierotti responded. “You are too young and it’s not legal. So when ur [sic] of age let me know. I can come say hi and we can meet just so you know I’m not a jerk.”
“I’m guessing u have hooked up w older guys before,” Pierotti added as they arranged a time and place to meet. “I’m on my way we can talk and go from there.”
Minutes after sending the message a person approached Pierotti in his car at the prearranged meeting place. That person was the administrator of the South Island Predator Publishing group, who routinely poses as minors online.
The encounter with Pierotti was recorded on a cellphone video and posted on Facebook, along with the messages exchanged between them.
Pierotti was fired by Aspengrove School on Aug. 27, two days after the Facebook post was published.
In a letter to the school community, Aspengrove School board chair Iain McIver said the board of governors was made aware of “inappropriate online activity between our head of school and a person claiming to be a minor” on Aug. 26.
“These posts are incredibly troubling,” McIver wrote, adding the board notified the RCMP immediately and terminated Pierotti.
“This is the only incident of this nature that we’re aware of,” he wrote.
As part of the consent resolution agreement, Pierotti admitted to the behaviour set out in the agreement and acknowledged it contravened the professional standards for educators in B.C.
Pierotti will not be allowed to renew his teaching qualifications or receive any other authorization to teach in the K-12 education system for 15 years.
“After being told that the youth was 15 years old, Pierotti continued to send messages, some with sexual content, and also arranged to meet the youth,” the commission wrote in the agreement signed by both parties on July 27.
“Pierotti was aware of the age of consent and that sexual activity with a 15-year-old would be criminal in nature,” the commission said, adding that Pierotti’s conduct undermined public confidence in the education system.
(STORY FROM CTV)(https://vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/b-c-principal-who-sent-sexual-messages-to-adult-posing-as-teen-banned-from-teaching-for-15-years-1.6510717)