Teacher struck off for sending “romantic” texts to girl, 12


A TEACHER has been struck off for sending “romantic” text messages to a 12-year-old girl and giving his phone number to a 13-year-old female at a bus stop.

Dr Jonathan Kobine carried out both acts when he was working as a university lecturer and before he decided to retrain as a school teacher.

But within two weeks of starting his probationary year at the High School of Dundee, allegations emerged about his previous conduct.

Dr Kobine resigned after being suspended from his job and has now agreed to be struck off the teaching register by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS).

The 48-year-old was not present at the hearing in Edinburgh but had previously signed a removal with consent order.

Mr Kobine was barred from the profession by the GTCS
Mr Kobine was barred from the profession by the GTCS

His declaration read: “I waive my right to have a full hearing and admit the following allegations made against me relating to my fitness to teach in full.

“On dates unknown in 2003, at a bus stop in Dundee, you did give your contact details and in particular your telephone number to a girl then aged 13 years of age.

“On dates unknown in 2007, at various places in Dundee you did send repeated text messages to a girl then aged 12 years of age which were inappropriate and romantic in nature.

“I freely and willingly consent to be removed from GTC Scotland’s register of teachers in view of my admission of the allegations…and understand that I will be prohibited from applying for restoration to that register for a period of two years.”

Dr Kobine was employed as a lecturer in engineering at Dundee University from between 2002 until 2014.

He began training as a teacher in August 2014 and started his probation period at Dundee High School as a Mathematics teacher in August 2015.

Speaking to a local newspaper earlier this month, Mr Kobine said: “I am not contesting the allegations.

“They date back to a time in which I was going through a lot of personal difficulties with my marriage and I was under a lot of pressure with my work.

“It caused me to act in a very reckless way which I totally regret.

“It was completely out of character and obviously something I’ve got to live with.”

He added: “I stupidly thought it was all in the past and I had moved on from that episode.

“I was at work as a probation teacher at Dundee High School when somebody found out I had been working there.

“I then found out I was being suspended and decided to resign.

“When I was going through the teacher training I was never asked about the two allegations — I would never have continued if I had known there would have been a problem.

“I got counselling to address personal difficulties and they were resolved.

“I decided to split from my wife. I’d been getting on with my life until this all blew up right in front of me.

“I’m really struggling to hold it all together.”

Kobine claimed police investigated the incidents but no charges were brought.

In a letter given to parents in the weeks running up to the hearing, Rector at the High School of Dundee John D Halliday wrote: “His conduct related to inappropriate text messages to two girls aged 12 and 13.

“I should stress that neither of these girls is or has ever been a pupil at the school.

“Further, I would like to reassure you that the allegations do not concern his time at the School and that Dr Kobine’s conduct at the School is not under any investigation.

“Dr Kobine was appointed last summer as a probationary Teacher of Maths and started with us at the beginning of the session on 22 August 2015.

“On 2 September we were made aware of certain allegations relating to Dr Kobine’s life before he became a school teacher.

“I immediately suspended Dr Kobine from all duties, pending a full investigation.

“Whilst suspended from school Dr Kobine decided to resign with immediate effect and, following best procedure, I personally informed the GTCS of the reasons for his suspension and subsequent resignation.

“I would like to confirm that, in appointing Dr Kobine, the School followed its own rigorous pre-employment vetting process, which included seeking, and obtaining, full Enhanced Disclosure Scotland clearance and a number of references.”