Students at a Guelph high school are reacting with surprise to the news that a longtime teacher at the school has been arrested for sex crimes.

“It’s really shocking,” student Bobbi Jo Shell said Wednesday.

“He seemed like a really cool person.”

Brian Hathway, 49, has been in custody since last Friday on allegations of sexual assault, sexual exploitation and obtaining sexual services.

Police have said that the charges all relate to incidents involving a child alleged to have occurred in 2016 and 2017.

Hathway is an automotive teacher at College Heights Secondary School. He has worked at College Heights since 2003.

“I thought he was great – a great teacher, great guy,” said student Jordan White.

“If there was an issue with another student, he was always there to stop it.”

Upper Grand District School Board spokesperson Heather Loney says the board has informed the Ontario College of Teachers about the investigation into Hathway, and has social workers, psychologists and other supports available for College Heights students and staff members.

Police say it is possible that Hathway could end up facing further charges.

Hathway remains in custody. His next court appearance is scheduled for Friday.

With reporting by Tyler Calver