In recent years, bullying-related suicides account for more than 6,000 deaths per year for individuals ages 15-24. In rare cases, the victims are sometimes even in grade school.
As more and more attention is drawn to the connection between bullying and suicide, the topic becomes more of a gray area. Today, too many adults see bullying as “just part of being a kid,” even though there are apparent victims. Bullying is a prevalent problem that leads to many negative effects for it’s victims, including: depression, fear, lack of motivation to attend school, and suicide.
With that said, police in a Wisconsin town are trying to curb bullying by holding parents accountable if their child is involved in bullying.
The city council of Shawano just passed an ordinance allowing police to intervene when aggression happens. The law applies to anyone under the age of 18 and covers various forms of harassment. The harassment can range from taking lunch money to cyberbullying on social media.
Officials in Shawano say they will warn parents after the first incident, but if the child’s behavior doesn’t change within 90 days they’ll get slapped with a $366 fine. A repeat offender will be fined $681.
While the majority of parents can agree that bully needs to stop, the new ordinance has raised a lot of controversy in Shawano.
Critics have pointed out that there is difference between playful banter and harassment, which can be subjective since children are always teasing each other.
In response to the statement above, police Chief Mark Kohl says, “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.”
With some parents embracing the fining idea, others disagree saying that it won’t work. The following topic has really got me thinking. Do you think parents should take responsibilities for their child’s actions? Or how should we go about this?