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Teacher facing sex charge commits suicide

10-3-2009 Canada:

A Toronto high school teacher charged earlier this week with having inappropriate sexual contact with two minors committed suicide this morning.

Sources confirmed that David Dewees killed himself by jumping in front of a train at High Park subway station on Saturday. Police and TTC officials said that a man had died after being injured on the tracks at the station around 8 a.m., but would not release his identity.

"He was an excellent teacher, he was very popular with the kids," said Sheila Ward, the school board trustee who represents the ward that includes Jarvis Collegiate Institute, where Dewees had been teaching English and Latin for six years.

"When I heard about the charges, it was a surprise to me."

Dewees was arrested on Thursday. He was said to have befriended two boys while working at the Ontario Pioneer Camp in Port Sydney, Ont. Later, he allegedly had inappropriate contact with them over the Internet.

The 32-year-old was facing charges of invitation to sexual touching and luring.

Some staff and social workers are expected to gather at Jarvis Collegiate tomorrow, and grief counsellors will be on hand Monday to help students deal with the death.

"It's a very sad and troubling event that's happened," said Toronto District School Board chair John Campbell, adding that his thoughts are with the man's family. "At the same time, we are very troubled by the police charges and allegations."

On, posters who identified themselves as his students commented on his sense of humour.

"I don't know which was funnier: when he made up the "Senex Salvius fundum habebat" song to the tune of "Old McDonald" on the spot or "domus ambulans" as the Latin word for RV. What a character!" wrote one.

"Mr. Dewees reads poetry with the most passion and enthusiasm I've ever witnessed," posted another. ..Source.. by Adrian Morrow, Staff Reporter

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