July 2019

Pervert teacher struck off for boozing and sexting with pupil at a Scottish special needs school

A teacher at a special needs school has been struck off for having an inappropriate relationship with one of the pupils.

Rodrigo Cintra boozed with the boy, went to nightclubs with him and even allowed him to stay overnight at his home.

He also sent the boy a number of sexual text and WhatsApp messages which included references to masturbation and his own sexuality.

The boy’s mother told a disciplinary hearing that she thought the teacher was ‘grooming’ her son to be his next male partner.

Mr Cintra was sacked by the school in the north of Scotland after the incidents came to light.

He has now appeared before a hearing of the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS), who decided his fitness to practice is impaired.

The hearing was told that Mr Cintra’s inappropriate conduct began when the boy was a 16-year-old pupil and continued after he left the school two years later.

The GTCS panel struck him off the teaching register and finding that, between 2014 and August 2016, he “did not maintain appropriate professional boundaries with Pupil A, of a teacher and pupil and a teacher and former pupil”.

In a written ruling, the panel said: “Although it was the first occasion that the teacher had behaved in this manner in relation to a pupil or former pupil, the conduct regarding Pupil A was sustained and planned.

“The panel was able to identify that the conduct transgressed professional boundaries. The teacher was not acting as a role model to protect Pupil A. The teacher exposed both himself and Pupil A to risk.

“The teacher was dismissive of parental concerns and dismissive of the concerns of colleagues. He had been arrogant and had failed to follow advice, guidance and instruction.

“The teacher had made limited admissions in relation to the allegations. His own explanation demonstrated limited insight into the nature and consequences of his conduct.

“His explanation for the conduct acknowledged only that the conduct was improper, as he had befriended Pupil A and had involved himself in activities with Pupil A at various places.

“The teacher had not demonstrated any remorse. His acceptance of responsibility was, in the panel’s view, superficial and not rooted in any understanding of the reasons why his conduct fell below the standards expected of a registered teacher.”

The panel was also “not satisfied that there would be no repetition of the conduct contained within the allegations”.

The hearing was told that the pupil involved was “a vulnerable young man” with long term and short term memory deficits and elements of autistic behaviours.

Mr Cintra told the GTCS that he “strongly denied that his actions were predatory behaviour or amounted to ‘grooming’ Pupil A”.

He said he had never tried nor wanted to have an inappropriate relationship with Pupil A and denied that he committed any abuse of trust.

He claimed that he regarded the boy as a friend and had become a mentor to him.

Mr Cintra cannot apply to be re-registered for two years.

The panel had heard that Mr Cintra first joined the school as a one-year volunteer from August 2005 until July 2006, working with young adults aged between 18 and 25.

He returned to the school in August 2007, and in September 2013 was employed as a special educational needs teacher who ran the metal workshop full time.

He held a BA in social pedagogy from the University of Aberdeen.