A Toronto Tragedy...

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A Toronto Tragedy...

Postby nimby » Mon Oct 05, 2009 4:17 pm

A heart breaking story unforlds in Toronto today, teacher acused of sex offences commits very public suicide.

http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Crime/2009/ ... -sun.html#

Accused teacher kills himself

Lies down on subway tracks


The Toronto Sun

Jarvis Collegiate teacher David Dewees, charged with sexual offences involving boys under 16, killed himself at a subway station in Toronto, Ont. (Sun Media/Handout)

TORONTO - Yesterday's suicide of a Toronto high school teacher charged with sexual offences involving boys sparked an outpouring of grief and support.

Jarvis Collegiate teacher David Dewees lay on the tracks at High Park subway station as a train approached around 8 a.m. as horrified riders watched.

Counsellors are expected to be at Jarvis tomorrow morning to help grieving students and teachers.

Dewees, 32, who taught Latin and English at Jarvis since 2003, was charged Thursday with Internet luring and invitation to sexual touching at the Christian-based Ontario Pioneer Camp near Huntsville between July 2008 and July 2009.

He was out on $25,000 bail.

Toronto District School Board chairman John Campbell said there's a sense of "profound sadness for this man and for his colleagues at school; for his students. Their world must be spinning."

Toronto Police allege he befriended two boys, and was removed from his summer camp post after allegations of sexually inappropriate e-mails surfaced.

A friend wondered whether someone should be held accountable in Dewees' death.

"Does the government not provide some kind of 'babysitter' in these situations or put him on suicide watch? Or did they just let him go and say deal with it?" asked Mike Robertson, who knew Dewees as a fellow camp counsellor in 1998 and '99.

"Many will say this proves he was guilty," he added. "And maybe he was. Or maybe he wasn't guilty. His career and reputation ruined, maybe he was so embarrassed with his name and face plastered all over the media and felt that no matter what the outcome, people would always write him off as a pervert," Robertson said in an e-mail to the Sun. "And maybe he just couldn't deal with that."

Friend Dave Holloway met Dewees at the camp last year and described him as "a great man."

"Since I first heard about this tragedy, I knew he was innocent," Holloway said. "He had a great sense of humour, which I believe was interpreted wrongly by these two boys. I am writing to you to tell you that I believe with all my heart that Dave Dewees would never intentionally sexually harass anyone."

Student Jennifer Vuong wrote that Dewees "never gave up on me."

"At times I was struggling in his English class because he was a hard marker, but he always gave me a little boost and made sure I understood everything 100%," Vuong wrote. "He was one of my favourite teachers and I will always remember the impact he left on me as a student."

"He was the best teacher anyone could ever ask for. He was full of life and energy," student Amela Cape wrote.

"I don't remember a word of Latin, but I can never forget being in his class and all the fun memories," Amanda-Lee McColl wrote. "He was a very intelligent and gifted man. Jarvis C.I. is surely at a loss."

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