Parents in a Wisconsin city will now be punished with fines of up to $681 if their children are caught repeatedly bullying others.
According to a new ordinance passed two weeks ago in Shawano, Wisconsin, parents will first receive a warning if their child has exhibited any kind of verbal, physical or cyber bullying. If the behavior is not corrected within 90 days after the warning, parents can be fined $366. If a second offense is filed within a year, the fine increases to $681.
The ordinance applies to children under the age of 18. The Shawano police department will be cooperating with the Shawano School District to determine perpetrators of bullying. Shawano Police Chief Mark Kohl is a fan of the anti-bullying ordinance as he says it also gives them an opportunity to work with parents.
During an interview with WLUK, Khol elaborated on the terms of the legislation:
“This isn’t generated towards the kids being kids, some playground banter. This is the person that is meticulously using social media or saying things that are vulgar in an attempt to hurt, discredit, and really demean a person.”
The anti-bullying ordinance has received praise from some parents and criticism from others. One woman voiced her opinion to WGBA:
“I really believe parents should just discipline their kids in the right way, and I think it’s a good idea.”
Another parent said:
“People got to learn to get along with each other…I don’t think fining is the answer to it.”
If punishing a bully in school doesn’t work, perhaps punishing their parents’ wallets will.