Eight teenage girls are facing criminal harassment charges stemming from a bullying investigation at a London, Ontario high school. The girls were arrested after it was revealed that a student at London South Collegiate Institute was the target of physical, emotional and cyber bullying, police said. “Some bullying did involve the Internet, some was verbal face-to-face contact, and some was physical,” said Const. Dennis Rivest.

The suspects were charged with criminal harassment and police said more charges could be laid as the investigation continues. They could also be expelled after school officials conduct their own investigation. The eight teens were released from custody on a promise to appear in court. The identities of the suspects and the victim cannot be released under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Police said information about the case was gathered via a school’s website through the portal “South Cares” – an online reporting tool where students can anonymously share concerns about themselves and their peers. “Because individuals came forward, directly and anonymously, the London Police Service and the Thames Valley District School Board were able to support the victim, ensure the victim was safe, and then address the bullying behavior,” reads a statement issued by police.

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