#cyberbullying | #cyberbully | OPP investigate cyberbullying in northern First Nations

A recent incident at Wapekeka was ‘serious’ in nature.

WAPEKEKA FIRST NATION, Ont.— A recent incident of cyberbullying on Wapekeka First Nation has prompted an Ontario Provincial Police investigation.

OPP did not provide details, but a spokesperson said disturbing messages were sent to some young people in the remote community, 600 kilometres north of Thunder Bay.

“They were of a serious nature,” the spokesperson told Tbnewswatch on Monday.

The OPP’s Criminal Investigation Branch is looking into the case, as well as numerous other incidents of cyberbullying in various northern First Nation communities.

In a statement, police said they are very concerned about the devastating impact this can have on youth.

OPP said parents who learn their children are being cyberbullied should let them know it is not their fault, and should praise them for bringing it to their attention.

“Encourage your child not to respond to cyberbullying, because doing so just fuels the fire and makes the situation worse,” they said.

Police are advising parents to keep or take screenshots of the messages, pictures or texts that were sent to their children so that they can be used as evidence during an investigation and possible prosecution.

They also suggested other measures to try:

  • Block the bully through the device settings
  • Limit your child’s access to technology by keeping the computer in a public place in the house, and putting limits on the use of cellphones and games
  • Know your child’s online world. Ask to “friend” or follow your child on social media sites, but don’t abuse this privilege by commenting or posting anything to your child’s profile. Check their postings and the sites they visit, and talk to them about the importance of privacy and why it’s a bad idea to share personal information online, even with friends
  • Encourage your child to safeguard passwords and to never post their address or whereabouts when out and about

Other helpful information about keeping children safe online is available here: https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/net-safety.html


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