Oak Bay High School basketball team suspended amid allegations of cyberbullying
Police say they're working with the school
A top-ranking high school basketball team in the Victoria area has been withdrawn from an upcoming tournament following allegations of cyberbullying that involved "highly inappropriate images" of one of the players circulating on social media.
"There was an incident where one of the team members took a highly inappropriate photograph of another team member and subsequently posted the photograph on social media, " said Greater Victoria superintendent of schools Piet Langstraat who would not elaborate on the specifics.
"The school and the district are taking this incident very seriously," he added.
Langstraat said the school's investigation determined only one of the students took the images, but others shared them and engaged in cyberbullying. He said the majority of the team was involved or aware the bullying was happening and never reported it.
The discovery the whole team was involved is what led the school to suspend it from playing, he said, even though the players were headed for the district's basketball finals.
Police working with school
Oak Bay police confirmed they're working with the school regarding the alleged incident.
"We really can't say a lot about it, because it's still early in the investigation," said Const. Rick Anthony.
"It hasn't been classified as any particular type of incident or offense yet, and it may not. We're still working with the school very closely to see what kind of resolution they're going to look towards."
Anthony said the matter will likely be dealt with and disciplined at the school level, but police are there to offer assistance.
Langstraat said the school is working with the victim to offer him support.
"These kind of things are certainly devastating, and the student deserves and needs all the support we can provide for him," he said.
He said the incident has served as a reminder that schools and parents continuously need to remind children and teens about the repercussions of their actions on the internet.
"It's disappointing. We as educators spend a lot of time speaking with students about social media and bullying and I know that parents speak to their children about appropriate use of the internet, and in spite of all of that this incident has occurred," he said.
- An earlier version of this story incorrectly attributed descriptions of the inappropriate image to Piet Langstraat, Superintendent of Schools of Greater Victoria.Feb 11, 2016 12:20 PM PT