Trinity Grammar School teacher charged with online grooming offences | #teacher | #children | #kids

English teacher Alexander Simpson.

Court documents note that Mr Simpson allegedly used a carriage service to solicit a photograph of the girl’s breasts.

Earlier on Thursday, police executed a search warrant at Mr Simpson’s home at Padstow Heights, in Sydney’s south-west, where they seized clothing and electronic devices. The items will undergo further examination.

Mr Simpson was taken to Burwood police station and charged with using a carriage service to send indecent material to a person under 16 and using a carriage service to solicit child abuse material.

He appeared before Burwood Local Court on Friday. Bail was not applied for and it was refused. He will be back in court on October 28.

Mr Simpson has worked at the school since 2015 and teaches English, including a year 12 class. He also coaches rugby and assists with the school cadets program.

Students said they were surprised to see police arrive at the school on Thursday afternoon while classes were still in session, and that Mr Simpson’s arrest had come as a “big shock to the community”.

Trinity Grammar School at Summer Hill.

Trinity Grammar School at Summer Hill.Credit:Louise Kennerley

Trinity Grammar School headmaster Tim Bowden said the school was co-operating with police and pastoral support was being provided to staff and students.

“The police have informed the school that there is no suggestion that offences have been committed against students of the school,” Mr Bowden said.

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Parents were alerted to the arrest in an email sent on Thursday night, in which Mr Bowden said he was “relieved” no students were involved.

“We continue to review our policies and procedures stringently and regularly; we will be co-operating as required in any subsequent investigation,” he wrote.

Students said the headmaster informed them of the arrest at a school assembly on Friday morning.

Mr Bowden told students that school staff and counsellors were available for support, and encouraged them to “shy away from gossip”.

Commander Detective acting Superintendent Chris Goddard of the child abuse and sex crimes squad said the allegations were “very serious” and “very concerning”.

He added the case served as a timely reminder to parents to discuss online safety with children.

“Talk to them about online safety, talk to them about who they’re dealing with, talk to them about their search engines, what they’re doing, and actually spend some time with them and make them aware of the pitfalls and the risks associated with engaging with people online that they don’t know,” he said.

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