Bullying is a serious matter.
Even though various measures are being placed by policymakers to prevent bullying, the National Center for Educational Statistics in 2015 stated that almost one out of every four students report being bullied during the school year.
Faced with similar issues, one Wisconsin town came up with a unique plan.
Shawano, located about 40 miles northweast of Greenbay, is a tiny town in Wisconsin.
The Shawano city council recently passed an ordinance, which allows police to intervene in cases of bullying. This law applies to anyone under the age of eighteen years old various types of harassment from stealing lunch money to cyberbullying.
Initially, the parents will be given a warning and a 90 day probationary term, so that the child can learn from the experience and stop exhibiting such aggressive behaviors.
If the child refuses to change, however, the parent will have to pay $366 for the first offense.
And, if the child gets another bullying offense, the parents will be fined $681 for every repeat offense.
Even though a large majority of people definitely supported this plan, some voiced concern to the city council.
They said that the difference between teasing and harassment can be subjective, and that such monetary punishment may potentially hurt families who are financially struggling.
In addition, Dr. Steven Meyers, a clinical psychologist, said that “ordinances that fine parents for children’s bullying have not been carefully studied.”
As such, Dr. Meyers told Huffington Post that these ordinances does not guarantee a positive outcome.
However, it seems like the city will go ahead with the ordinance.
Mark Kohl, the police chief of Shawano city, strongly believes that this law will work, and that the city will make sure to distinguish serious bullying and playground banter.
He also said that the ordinance will help parents to know more about what’s going on with their kids, since some parents may not even know that their children are acting as bullies.
Hopefully, with this law, every children will feel safe.
No matter who they are, and where they come from, kids should be able to express their ideas and emotions without ever having to worry about getting bullied.
What do you think about this new ordinance in Shawano?
Do you think the city’s plan will work?