A TEACHER faces being struck off amid claims he tried to send a pupil a “humorous” picture of a dwarf – but sent an image of a half-naked woman instead.
Bilal al-Bukhaari – formerly known as Gerry Corr – faces a string of charges at the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) in Edinburgh next week.
The primary teacher from East Ayrshire is alleged to have sent messages to a high school pupil, inviting her running and to a football match, offering to take her to Manchester, and telling her “come down with me” instead of “come dine with me.”
The GTCS also alleges that he sent the same 17-year-old S5 girl a screenshot of a female friend wearing only a bra.
Mr al-Bukhaari is said to have told a disciplinary hearning the bra picture had been sent in error.
He explained that his intention had been to “send a picture of a person with dwarfism” because he “considered this to be humorous”.
The charges, which reveal that the high school girl had “additional support needs”, relate to a time between February and August 2014 – when Mr al-Bukhaari was employed as a teacher at Patna Primary School near Ayr.
The hearing has been delayed as Mr al-Bukhaari made the application to have the fitness to teach hearing held in private – keeping the allegations secret from the public.
Mr al-Bukhaari claimed that his family could be put in danger if his name and address were made public as a result of the hearing.
Discussing this, “He referred to an incident that had occurred a number of months ago, which, he believed, was connected to this matter, given local opinion on the matter.”
But the GTCS turned down the application – citing a lack of evidence for his fears -meaning that it will go ahead in public next week.
Their full allegations read: “You did between 5 February 2014 and 27 February 2014, both dates inclusive, repeatedly send messages via the Blackberry messenger service to pupil A.”
These included “messages inviting pupil A to go running”, “messages offering to take pupil A to a football match”, “messages offering to take pupil A to Manchester” and “a message which invited pupil A to ‘come down with me’ instead of ‘come dine with me’”.
They add: “You did between 5 February 2014 and 27 February 2014, both dates inclusive, send a screenshot of your female friend wearing only a brassiere to pupil A.
“You did on 29 August 2014, state in your disciplinary hearing that the screenshot referred to […] had been sent to pupil A in error and that your intention had been to send a picture of a person with dwarfism to pupil A as you considered this to be humorous.”
Mr al-Bukhaari has indicated that he will not be attending the hearing.