MA District Tackles Cyberbullying

The Bridgewater-Raynham (MA) Regional School District is the first in the nation to adopt the computer game “Braincells,” designed to educate children about cyberbullying and cell phone hackers.

Canadian software company LiveWires, through a partnership with the district attorneys in Bristol and Plymouth counties, has provided the game to the district.

Bridgewater-Raynham has piloted other Internet safety programs created by LiveWires, including “Missing,” an educational game that teaches children about avoiding sexual predators online. Since the district first used the game, 15 million other students across the country have followed suit.

Braincells is designed to combat the rising tide of cyberbullying, which can occur over cell phones, YouTube, e-mail, instant message, and other interactive media. “Our first responsibility as DAs is the prosecution of crimes,” Bristol District Attorney Sam Sutter said. “In my opinion, an increasingly important aspect of the DA’s work is crime prevention.”
Raynham Police Chief Louis J. Pacheco, who is nationally recognized for using computer technology to fight crime, echoed the district attorneys’ remarks. He described a case involving a high school student who digitally merged the face of a female classmate with a nude photograph from the Internet. The photo was widely distributed, and the girl eventually transferred.

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