Parents fined for their children’s bullying

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On May 20, Monona, Wisconsin passed the “parent liability” clause that allows police to fine and issue a ticket to the parents of bullies. 

According to the law, once parents show up to court, they can be fined up to $114 for their child’s first offense and up to $177 following each violation after that within a year. 

The parent or guardian of the bully must be informed by an officer of a separate bullying violation within the past 90-day before they would face a fine.

Monona Police Chief Wally Ostrenga said its not meant for parents to correct bullying behavior. Instead, the law will effect parents when they are “obstructive” or “uncooperative” or for children who have repeatedly been bullying others. 

If the parent is doing something to curb the bullying, they will not be fined. 

The ordinance is essentially for the parents who turn the other check towards their children who are bullies. 

Ostrenga explains, “Sometimes you’ll knock on someone’s door and they won’t want to talk to you — their kids are perfect, they could never do anything wrong,” Ostrenga concluded. “This is for those times when we get the door slammed in our faces.”

Monona’s mayor said he hopes this new ordinance will hopefully show victims of bullying that the community of Monona are behind them and take their concerns seriously. 

“Ordinances reflect the values of a community,” he told the Wisconsin State Journal. “It would be my desire that the bullying ordinance reflects the values of Monona.”

429Magazine

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