February 2019

Pervert teacher struck off

A pervert teacher pestered pupils with sordid messages on Facebook – telling a schoolgirl who denied his friend request: ‘Oi! Why won’t you add me? Tart!’

Benjamin Bird, 37, told another boy to send him a photograph of his penis in a host of grim x-rated messages.

He was today struck off as a teacher after a disciplinary hearing found him guilty of sexually motivated misconduct.

Bird was the pastoral head at Bridge Learning Campus in Bristol when he contacted three pupils at his former school.

The Teaching Regulation Agency, sitting in Coventry, heard that Bird sent messages about performing sex acts,

When one girl at Henbury secondary rejected his friend request for a second time, Bird stormed: ‘Oi! Why won’t you add me? Tart!’

The panel heard that in another Facebook conversation about a schoolboy’s penis, the disgraced teacher wrote: ‘Maybe run the real thing past be for approval first ;)’

Bird then added: ‘I’ve seen many examples lol’.

Bird, a community radio presenter in Bristol, also crudely asked another schoolboy if he had ‘morning glory’.

He wrote: ‘Currently can’t even think about getting out of bed let alone having a w***’

Panel chair Geoffrey Penzer said: ‘He had become or attempted to become friends with his pupils and ex-pupils on Facebook and proceeded to send messages to them of an inappropriate nature.

‘The messages included reference to masturbation and a suggestion to one pupil that he send to him a photograph of his penis.’

Bird was banned from the profession indefinitely and has 28 days to appeal the ruling.

The panel said that the teacher sent the messages in 2017 for ‘sexual gratification’.

Mr Penzer added: ‘We are satisfied that the communications were of a sexual nature. This must follow by way of Mr Bird’s use of words such as ‘w***’ and ‘morning glory’, as well as his discussion with Pupil E about penises during which he suggests to Pupil E that he sends him a photo of his penis.

‘The communications were of a sexual nature and clearly flirtatious towards the recipients of the messages. If nothing else, it is our view that the messages were frisky and playful and motivated by sexual attraction.

‘We believe that it is more likely than not that Mr Bird sent the messages in a way that was titillating for him and they were therefore sent for the purposes of sexual gratification.’

The panel ruled that Bird’s behaviour amounted to ‘serious sexual misconduct’.

Bird was not present at the hearing.