VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – An investigation of cyberbullying has ended the season for a boys high school basketball team on Vancouver Island and one expert says that’s a good thing.
Aside from any police investigation or possible legal action down the road, UBC Associate Professor Jennifer Shapka says pulling the team from an upcoming tournament is the better approach.
She feels the immediate punishment will help teach a lesson.
“Both the victim and the perpetrator would actually learn from this and hopefully, learn not to do this. If you put someone directly into the legal system, it’s designed to punish people; it’s not designed to help them learn from their mistakes.”
“They can talk about why they did it, how it impacted the victim which is part of a restorative justice process and then coming up together, as part of that conversation, what the consequence should be for the person who perpetrated.”
“Have a conversation where it’s about learning and moving forward so the bully isn’t completely maligned and it’s not a punitive situation, it’s about understanding each perspective,” she adds.
During a recent road trip, one of the players fell asleep, when another pulled his pants down and took inappropriate photos, then posting them on social media.
Greater Victoria School District Superintendent Piet Langstraat says the entire team is suspended because the school’s principal believes most of the players either took part or knew something about the incident.