FORT ST. JOHN -- Many parents at Robert Ogilvie Elementary School in Fort St. John have been speaking out about a bullying problem.

One parent took to social media to post that students made fake social media profiles to post “ugly” comments about their child. She stated that one went as far as to convince their child, who is in grade 7, to commit suicide. The parent contacted the Fort St. John RCMP due to the incident.

In another incident, a parent contacted the school after students called her daughter garbage. She alleged that the administration employee stated that “they’re kids” and they need to “work it out between themselves.”

Other parents agreed. Some stated that the bullying started as little as grade two.

According to the RCMP, cyberbullying is a serious offence and can result in criminal charges.

In a press release by the RCMP, Constable Mireille Haunts said, “We spend a lot of time in schools speaking with children and youth about social media. We start with the grade three students, talking about general online safety and privacy. As the students get older, we start talking about topics like sexting and sextortion, cyberbullying, and even human trafficking.”

Mounties are encouraging parents to speak with their kids and teens about social media. They should ask what social media platforms they are using and make sure they are comfortable with sharing information that way. Parents should also talk with their kids about what to do if they see or have done something online that makes them uncomfortable

The B.C. government states that resources are available to children and youth through Kids Help Phone. The organization provides counselling, referral and support for children and youth under 20. Professional counsellors are also available to provide immediate and caring support to young people. The service is free, confidential, anonymous and available 24 hours a day.

According to the Ministry of Education and Child Care, they are also working to expand the provincial Expect Respect and A Safe Education (erase) website. It provides prevention and intervention resources to address bullying and violence in schools, while also focusing on mental health and well-being, school safety, anti-racism and gender-based violence.

They are also offering free, 24-hour mental-health support for B.C. post-secondary students who may be coping with anxiety, depression and other concerns.

In a press release Wednesday, they stated that they are providing Here2Talk, a virtual counselling service, for the fall. It provides immediate mental health support to students via the Here2Talk app, over the phone or through online chat.

The service is available to all part-time and full-time students registered in a public or private B.C. college, university, institute or trades program, whether they are in Canada or abroad.

We reached out to School District 60. They did not return our call at the time of publishing.