On March 5, 2010, District Attorney David F. Capeless, in conjunction the Massachusetts Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, sponsored a three hour seminar and train the trainer workshop for area educators on cyberbullying prevention.
The training reviewed the major points that adults need to convey to students about cyberbullying and risky online behaviors.
The training was presented by Dr. Elizabeth Englander, professor of psychology and founder and director of the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center at Bridgewater State College, a center which delivers anti-violence and anti-bullying programs, resources and research for the state of Massachusetts. Dr. Englander is a nationally-recognized expert in the areas of bullying and cyberbullying, childhood causes of violence and aggression, child development, and characteristics of juvenile and adult violent offenders.
Attendees learned how to train their colleagues on the subject of cyberbullying and were provided with a DVD and handouts to support their future training efforts.
This was Dr. Englander's second trip to the Berkshires as part of the District Attorney's ongoing Bullying Prevention Initiative. The goal of the Bullying Prevention Initiatives is to change the social norms concerning bullying behavior and create a climate in schools, neighborhoods and communities that promotes diversity and acceptance.
After years of delays, proposed bullying prevention legislation goes before the state senate this week, which would make Massachusetts the 42 nd state to enact a school bullying prevention law. Berkshire County schools and districts are working hard to develop and implement bullying prevention and intervention plans. The District Attorney's Office will continue to offer training and resources and work with schools and parents to support prevention plans that afford all students a safe and health place to learn.