A teacher from a Mirrabooka high school will remain behind bars for at least a month after he was arrested on school grounds and accused of trying to “procure a person believed to be under 13 for sexual activity”. In a letter sent to parents on Friday, John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School principal Jason Bartell informed them that Robert Messina had been charged on Thursday. The teacher’s charges do not relate to students at the school. “Mr Messina was taken into police custody at the school yesterday. Mr Messina has since been formally charged with child exploitation offences,” the letter said. “The safety and well-being of our students is my utmost priority and I have taken immediate steps to terminate Mr Messina’s employment at the school. “I first became aware of these allegations when police arrived at the school yesterday and we are cooperating with all police enquiries. “Mr Messina met all Government and school child safe checks required, including the Working with Children check.” Mr Bartell added the school had arranged for counselling to be available for students and staff members in the wake of the incident. “Any student can contact the school’s chaplains or the school’s counselling team to access these services,” the letter said. “I understand this news will be extremely concerning; however, please know that I commit to keeping you updated.” In a statement given to The West on Friday, the school said it was taking the matter extremely seriously. “The school has taken immediate action to terminate the employment of a teacher charged with child exploitation offences on 30 November 2023,” the statement said. “Any allegations relating to child safety are taken very seriously and the school is cooperating with all enquiries.” Mr Messina appeared in Armadale Magistrates Court on Friday facing one count of intended to procure a person believed to be under 13 for sexual activity, one count of possessed child exploitation material and one count of distributed child exploitation material. He was represented by a duty lawyer and did not apply for bail, instead requesting a six-week adjournment to seek legal advice. He only spoke to confirm his name and that he understood the charges laid against him.He is due to next appear in the Armadale Magistrates Court on January 12. The West can also reveal the charges against Mr Messina were laid by the newly formed child exploitation operations squad - a dedicated new police unit tasked with hunting down alleged online predators, as well as rescuing child victims. WA Police have been approached for comment.