Parents of Chronic Bullies Beware – You Could Get a Ticket in One Wisconsin Community
Bullying is one of the most chronic and destructive problems facing young people today. In an effort to take a stand against bullying. Monona, Wis., passed an ordinance that allows police to ticket the parents of chronic bullies. Now before you get too excited, there is a process to be followed before a ticket is issued. Parents first receive a written notification their child is bullying, if the bullying happens again within a 90-day window, the parents could receive a citation for as much as $114, but that might depend on the circumstances. A ticket will certainly not be automatic.
While the National Bullying Prevention Center applauds the move, the first of it's kind, police in Monona do not have plans to use it very often. Monona police chief, Walter Ostrenga says, "There's a lot of discretion here. If we go to someone's house and the parents are just at wit's end, they don't know what to do, they've tried everything, it's just not working -- we're not going to write those parents tickets. That's not right, they're actually trying to fix the problem."
The parents who are most likely to get a ticket are those parents who just refuse to accept their kids are anything but perfect and could never be bullies. You know the type, the one whose door you knock on and say we have a problem with your son and they proceed to slam the door in your face.
According to Ostrenga, there was no one particular incident that prompted this action, but the town fully supports the ordinance, which also covers cyber-bullying.
This may not be a perfect solution, but it is a start. Whether or not other communities follow suit with something similar is yet to be seen. At the very least, it will force those parents who have their heads stuck in the sand when it comes to the actions of their children to deal with the issue instead of ignoring it by always thinking, 'not my kid, no way'. What do you think?