Bullying incident ends basketball team’s season

The Oak Bay High junior boys basketball team's season is over for the year following a bullying incident in January

Oak Bay High unfortunately made headlines this week after a bullying incident ended the junior boys basketball team season.

A media storm erupted late Tuesday when the team was slated to start city championships. Piet Langstraat, superintendent Greater Victoria School District, told several media outlets that in January an inappropriate photo was taken of two boys during a road trip. It was subsequently posted on social media and resulted in significant bullying of one of the boys in the photo.

Langstraat also said that Oak Bay High principal Dave Thomson (the school office directed media to the school district) chose to suspend the season as most of the team appeared to know about the online bullying.

Langstraat did not return Oak Bay News calls by deadline.

While the season ended in a police file, no criminal investigation is underway.

“Last Thursday (Feb. 4) our school liaison officer got a call from the school to inform him of this information they had found out about this incident,” said Const. Rick Anthony, community liaison officer for Oak Bay Police.

The department started an “assist file,” Anthony said, should the incident require a police investigation or criminal charges. “They decided to keep it in house and deal with it internally at their level and mete out some discipline or sanctions. We’re comfortable with that. We’re supportive of that,” Anthony said. “They have to look at the consequences of all involved and how is it best dealt with at their level.”

Oak Bay Police Const. Markus Lueder, school liaison officer, offers the WITS program with area schools and the detachment is involved in other anti-bullying initiatives, such as national Pink T-Shirt Day (Feb. 24).

“The school liaison officer is there to be that guy, that resource for the school,” Anthony said.