A visiting cyber bullying expert is urging New Zealand schools to make students take driver licence-style tests before they can bring cell phones and tablets to class. Adolescent psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg, a founding member of Australia’s National Center Against Bullying, issued the challenge in a speech to a Wellington conference hosted by NetSafe. Dr. Carr-Gregg has already called upon Queensland and New South Wales to adopt the tests, which students would take at home with parents before they could bring cell phones to school.

New Zealand’s education structure means it would be up to individual schools to take up the idea, but NetSafe and the president of a principals’ group have cast doubt over its effectiveness. The tests, which could be downloaded from a central website, would sit alongside an acceptable use policy, “so if you’ve broken the rules that you’ve signed on for, you can have your licence suspended”, Dr Carr-Gregg told the Herald. “What we need is a more enlightened view. The licence will teach kids to use the internet in a safe, smart and respectable manner.”

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