A northern Alberta high school teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a student who later killed himself told a disciplinary hearing Friday that she never had sex with the teenager.
Lori-Lee Simard faces charges under the Teaching Profession Act that she had a sexual and romantic relationship with 18-year-old Riley Aubin during the 2005-2006 school year at a high school in Donnelly, Alta., about 425 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.
Simard is also accused of directing Aubin to lie about his relationship with her.
She told the Alberta Teachers Association disciplinary hearing she was very close to the teen, but said, "I was never intimately involved with him. Never."
Aubin also read a statement to reporters waiting outside the hearing room in Edmonton.
"I deeply, deeply, regret was has happened, and my heart goes out to the Aubin family," she said.
Aubin, who was in Grade 12, shot himself April 9, 2006.
Earlier evidence at the hearing told of a text message Aubin sent Simard the night before he died. It read in part, "Miss you sexy like you wouldn't believe."
Vivian Aubin, Riley's mother, told the hearing Thursday she blames the relationship for her son's suicide.
She also told of confronting Simard about the relationship.
"She started crying, saying, 'I'm sorry, I was so sad and lonely. When he walked into my room he brightened my day.'"
If Simard is found guilty of the charges, she could lose her right to teach in Alberta.