A Brampton high school teacher has been arrested and charged with sexual exploitation after he allegedly had a relationship with a 17-year-old female student, Peel Regional Police say.

The teacher, who is from Milton, Ont., turned himself in on Thursday at 7:25 p.m.

The 53-year-old was held overnight at Peel police's 22 Division. He was due in court for a bail hearing in Brampton on Friday. 

Both the teacher and student are from Turner Fenton Secondary School at 7035 Kennedy Rd. S. in Brampton, police said in a news release.

Teacher suspended with pay

Const. Harinder Sohi, spokesperson for the police, said the Peel District School Board contacted police and officers started an investigation based on the information provided by the board.

Sohi said officers were made aware of a relationship between the teacher and the student. He said the teacher was asked to come into the police station. He was arrested after he arrived at the station.

Carla Pereira, communications manager for the Peel District School Board, said in a statement on Friday that the teacher has been suspended with pay.

"Of course these charges are naturally disturbing," Pereira said. "We have been and are cooperating with police at this time, and offering support to the students and staff at Turner Fenton Secondary School."

Pereira said the board cannot comment on specific cases because personnel matters are confidential under the collective agreement between the board and its employees.

Teacher 'immediately assigned' to home

But she said in such situations, where a teacher has been charged, the teacher is "immediately assigned" to home while the court process proceeds. 

"Our standard practice is that we cooperate with police during their investigation and conduct our own thorough board investigation once criminal proceedings have concluded," she said.

"During the police investigation, the employee's status may be switched to assigned to home without pay, depending on factors including the individual's bail conditions."

Pereira said the board will review transcripts from the trial, if there is one, and will seek advice from relevant organizations, such as the Children's Aid Society and the police. 
 
"We take all reports of inappropriate behaviour seriously and rely on board policies and operating procedures, collective agreements, legal input, professional standards and past practice, in deciding discipline outcomes," she said.

"There are a number of consequences that might happen as a result, including boundary training, suspension with or without pay, transfer to another school or location, or termination."

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation, the union that represents high school teachers in Ontario, has not yet responded to a call for comment.

Police urged anyone with information to contact its special victims unit at 905-453-2121, ext. 3460.

Information can be submitted anonymously to Peel Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or by visiting www.peelcrimestoppers.ca, or by sending a text message to CRIMES (274637) with the word "PEEL."