Stopping the cyberbullies

STUDENTS may have to apply for mobile phone licences before being permitted to bring the devices to school.

This was one of the 12 recommendations put forward in a recent draft report aimed to stop cyberbullying.

Education Minister Cameron Dick, who commissioned the report from anti-bullying expert Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, said the report brought up interesting points about the issue of technological abuse in schools.

"In his report, Dr Carr-Gregg makes the point that cyberbullying is related to relationships and behaviours, not technology," he said.

"As such, our policy responses should be educational, focusing on behavioural aspects rather than legal or technical aspects."

Mr Dick said the concept of mobile phone licences in schools was one of the most interesting recommendations.

It is being considered by Queensland Schools Alliance Against Violence.

"Dr Carr-Gregg recommends that the system operate similarly to driver licence systems, including students completing a short web-based test before being permitted to bring or use mobile phones or other communication devices to schools.

"He says that communication tools such as phones are similar to cars. That is, a student needs to reach a certain level of proficiency with both to avoid accidents and avoid trouble with the law."

Another idea put forward in the report was the development of a bullying app.

Mr Dick said the newly formed alliance provided schools with a better chance to eradicate bullying.

"It is the first time the three education sectors in Queensland had combined to tackle issues that are affecting everybody," he said.

Topics:  cyberbullying mobile phones

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