A TEACHER has spoken of his “disgraceful behaviour” after he was caught with cocaine at last summer’s T in the Park.
PE teacher William Simpson was found to have the drug in his possession when police searched him at the music festival in Balado, Kinross, on Saturday 13 July last year.
The former teacher at Blairgowrie High School, Perth and Kinross, bought the class A drug for £60 at a party the afternoon before he headed to the festival.
A disciplinary hearing of the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) heard that he was convicted at Perth Sheriff Court on 7 January this year and ordered to pay a fine of £260.
He resigned his post at the school, where he had taught since 2006, in December 2013, a month before the court case.
The 32-year-old from Perth admitted the conviction at the GTCS hearing in Edinburgh yesterday.
Mr Simpson, who appeared tearful on occasion, said: “My behaviour was disgraceful. For anybody to do that, particularly a teacher, is just disgraceful.
“I can’t believe I was so foolish and so selfish. I am mortified and not a day goes by past that I don’t kick myself for it.”
“I’ve let the profession down,” he added. “Blairgowrie High is a great school – the pupils are fantastic and my colleagues are incredible. I am ashamed that I have let them all down.”
The Edinburgh University graduate has suffered from ill health due to ongoing stomach muscle problems since 2010, the hearing was told.
This resulted in numerous long periods of absences from his work and led to depression.
Mr Simpson insisted his problems were not the reason he bought drugs that afternoon.
Asked why he had bought the cocaine, he said he had no answer to that.
His lawyer, Alastair Milne, said: “Mr Simpson has taken regular drug tests and the evidence clearly shows that there is no indication that there is a pattern of this behaviour. This was an isolated incident.”
Colleagues also gave evidence to the hearing that he was a hard-working and dedicated teacher who had a good relationship with children.
Mr Milne said a reprimand would, in the circumstances, be “appropriate and fair”.
Panel convenor Mary McCory said they had not found Mr Simpson unfit to teach.
She added: ”We have, of course, found the respondent’s fitness impaired.”
The panel will now decided what sanction to take against the teacher.
The hearing continues.