It's really no surprise that teenagers are ridiculously awful to each other. It could have something to do with raging hormones and the animosity stoked by being stuck living with your parents in a bleak small town, but nevertheless, cyberbullying has been around since bored teens got their hands on DSL-connected desktops in the early 2000s. In the latest case of potential cyberbullying at a Newfoundland junior high, cops are investigating claims that a list of "ugliest girls" in Grade 9 at the school, St. James Regional High, was posted on social media.
"We're still trying to determine who posted it on Facebook," RCMP Sergeant Terry Alexander told The Canadian Press. "We have no idea." Police have been conducting interviews to try to find out the original poster of the list, which contained about a half dozen names of girls from the school in Port aux Basques, a port town of just over 4,000 people. The list was put up on Facebook on December 17 and reported to police the following day.
The list is the second case of cyberbullying harassment investigation in Newfoundland in the last month. In the previous case, a similar poll was posted on ask.fm about Grade 12 girls from Holy Trinity High in Torbay, a town with a population of just over 7,000.
Lynelle Cantwell, one of the girls listed on the Holy Trinity High poll earlier this month, made her own post on social media in response: "I'm sorry that your life is so miserable that you have to try to bring others down... To the 12 people that voted for me to bring me to 4th place, I'm sorry for you too. I'm sorry that you don't get to know me as a person."
Even though police are investigating the case, and cops could potentially charge for criminal harassment, that's usually reserved for threats of bodily harm or livelihood. In Canada, unless cyberbullying contains revenge porn, criminal conviction is improbable.
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