Online bullying isn’t a joke.

That’s the message from OPP Sergeant Cynthia Savard after a 14-year-old teen from Petawawa was charged for three counts of uttering threats and one count of criminal harassment.

Police say that the investigation revealed that a series of threats to harm the victim were made over social media.

Sergeant Savard says online bullying is a serious offence. She says that kids feel braver to bully behind a screen but the consequences are as bad as if the bullying would happen in person. Savard says that when you’re charged, you can’t be close to the victim so the accused could be forced to go to other schools and if they are found guilty, they now have a criminal record even if they are minors. This means that they cannot leave the country she says.

Savard states that there are good sides to social media but bullying is not one of them. If anyone is a witness, it is their responsibility to contact the police by calling 9-1-1. Kids are also advised to talk to a family member, their parents or another adult if they fear for their safety or if they are a victim.

For his case, the Petawawa teen was released on a promise to appear at Youth Court on May 23.