Dexter promises review of investigation into Rehtaeh Parsons case
Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter says the provincial government will launch a review of the original police investigation in the Rehtaeh Parsons case.
The 17-year-old Cole Harbour, N.S. teen died April 7. Her family says she committed suicide after she was allegedly raped by four boys, and then bullied and humiliated by her classmates after a photo of the incident was passed around.
Dexter says a third party will review the original investigation into the case but not until police exhaust current leads.
“The important thing is it will be comprehensive and it will be fully independent,” says Dexter.
Dexter says there will also be a review of how the Halifax Regional School Board handled allegations that Rehtaeh was bullied and another of the province's Public Prosecution Service.
Meanwhile, supporters of the teens who may have been involved say there are two sides to the story. A Facebook page supporting the four boys accused of the alleged assault was shut down this afternoon.
“People rush to judgment on the basis of partial information,” says Stephen Kimber, a journalism professor at the University of King’s College.
He believes the teens have been unfairly tried and convicted by the public.
“There are two sides to a story,” says Kimber. “Maybe there are more sides than two to a story, and in order to get at this, we’ve got to look at the real complexity.”
Students at Dartmouth High School are supporting change in the way teens use social media and are pledging to spread words of encouragement, and not words of hate, on their own sites.
“It’s more about prevention everywhere, not just one particular community,” says student Bradley Hebb.
“My pledge is to stand up so if I see someone getting bullied, then I’ll say something about it,” says student Erin Balcon.
Teacher Heather Hughes says social media sites can be dangerous as they offer anonymity.
“I asked students, ‘who has seen naked pictures of girls at this school?’ and the majority and students put up their hands,” she says.
As a result, she challenged students to make a difference within their school by posting only positive comments on social media sites.
“Maybe another friend from another school sees what your school’s doing and sees what your pledge was and says ‘hey, that’s a good idea, I should start that at my school,” says student Shannon Barry.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kelland Sundahl