Shawano, Wisconsin is the latest town in the state to try a new approach to online bullying, and parents are divided on whether to support it or not. It doesn’t start out as a large fine, but if parents don’t interfere with their children’s behavior over a period of 90 days, the fines can quickly become a heavy burden on families.
When children are found bullying others through social media, using vulgar language to harass and humiliate their classmates, parents are issued a warning and are responsible for correcting their child’s behavior. If the behavior remains uncorrected after 90 days, parents are fined $366.
We feel without getting the parent involved, just giving a ticket or fining someone out of this isn’t the answer,’ police chief Mark Kohl said.
If the child is caught bullying a second time in just one year, it will cost parents a huge sum of $681. While no families have been fined yet, others are raising the question as to whether the practice is illegal or not and can easily see the fines being used when children simply don’t like what another student has written, harassment or otherwise.
Authorities hope that the mere threat of a fine will push parents and guardians to be more proactive when it comes to teaching their children not to bully others, and leaving the majority of the discipline up to the parents instead of the school. It wasn’t meant to be used as revenue, but as a way to encourage families to work together in the community to put an end to bullying.
What do you think of this controversial new fine?
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