For Immediate Release - September 29, 2008

D.A. Blodgett Hosts Cyberbullying Prevention Conference

Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett, in collaboration with the Anti-Defamation League, and the Triton and Beverly School districts, will host a conference, "Recognizing and Responding to Cyberbullying," on Tuesday, October 7, from 8 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., at the Sheraton Ferncroft in Danvers. Attending will be law enforcement personnel, educators and school administrators, along with public health and mental health professionals.

"Cyberbullying is a growing problem which affects almost half of all teenagers in this country. Because this harassment occurs online or via text messaging, it takes place out of view of adults, leaving them unaware of the problem or unsure of how to respond," said District Attorney Blodgett. "We have seen name calling, degrading jokes and other non-physical forms of bullying escalate into threats of physical harm or violence."

Conference speakers will address ways to recognize and respond to cyberbullying, as well as how to prevent future incidents of hate and harassment.

In addition to District Attorney Blodgett, speakers will include Richard Cole, Esq., Civil Rights and Safe Schools consultant; Dr. Elizabeth Englander, Director of the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center; Philip Fogelman, Education Director of the Anti-Defamation League, New England Region; and John L.G. Bynoe, III, Associate Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Education.

"Trickery, Trolling, and Threats," a new program created by the Anti-Defamation League will also be presented.

The media are cordially invited to attend.