Around 1 in 4 children are victims of bullying in school. Although many people consider bullying a normal aspect of growing up, the nation has finally decided to tackle the issue of bullying.
The city council in Shawano, Wisconsin has created a groundbreaking ordinance that helps discourage bullying – from cyberbullying to stealing lunch money – in children under 18. Any minor that is accused of bullying will result in a $366 fine – to their parents! The child then has 90 days to change his or her behavior or they will receive a $681 fine for any repeat offenses.
The concept behind the ordinance is that bullying starts at home and should be dealt with by the parents. Most parents are in favor of the measure, although some argue that it is hard to draw a line between harmless teasing and actual harassment.
They also contend that the rule is difficult to enforce and may not necessarily change the behavior of the bully. In response to these criticisms, Mark Kohl, Shawano Police chief, stressed that the ordinance is not aimed at “kids being kids” but rather at the individual “that is meticulously using social media or saying things that are vulgar in an attempt to hurt.”
People have been commenting on the new law stating that there should be required family counseling in instances of bullying to help determine the root of the problem. Additionally, some people feel the ordinance should include some type of community service so the bully gets punished too.
Others suggest that bullies should be pulled from school and forced to complete classes online instead of being allowed to remain in school and continue to cause heartache.