A 36-year-old junior high school teacher has been charged with sexually assaulting a student.

The Halifax Regional School Board says Sarah Allt Harnish of Stillwater Lake was put on leave from her teaching job Feb. 2 at Five Bridges Junior High School in Hubley, a community west of Halifax.

Nova Scotia RCMP allege she had inappropriate contact with a student last month. 

Teacher and soccer coach

Harnish teaches Grade 9 English, social studies and French immersion at the school, according to her class website

Harnish also coaches soccer in the Halifax area.

She is currently on leave from her role with Halifax County United Soccer, the club president said by email Friday.

Soccer players on Mount Saint Vincent University's women's team have been offered support, a spokesperson said Friday evening. Harnish is on leave from her role as this year's assistant coach, she said. 

Harnish was arrested Friday after a six-week investigation by Nova Scotia's sexual assault investigation team, RCMP spokesperson Const. David Fairfax said.

Police were notified Feb. 5 of a teacher having inappropriate contact with a student, police said.

Harnish is charged with sexual assault and sexual interference. 

Allegations 'deeply troubling'

She has been released on conditions that she have no contact with the alleged victim, no contact with youth under the age of 16 and stay away from places known to be frequented by children.

Fairfax could not say the student's age or gender. He would not disclose the location where the alleged offence occurred.

Harnish is scheduled to appear in Halifax provincial court on May 3.

A school board spokesperson said she would not discuss the allegations, except to say the charges are "deeply troubling." She said the safety of the students is "of top priority."

With files from Natalie Dobbin and Blair Rhodes