Wisconsin city proposes to fine parents of 'bully' children

A proposal in a Wisconsin town would allow police to fine parents if their child is caught bullying someone else.

STOUGHTON, WIS. - A new proposal in Stoughton would allow police to fine parents if their child is caught bullying someone else.

"Nobody should ever have to be subjected to bullying and harassment and intimidation," said Michael Engelberger, the alder of district two in Stoughton and also the head of the Public Safety Committee in the city.

The ordinance would be separate from school policies.

"The school has a policy and it can only do so much. It's a policy. When the kids are in school they can do a little bit with it, but when they're out of school, the same type of behavior happens," Engelberger explained.

The proposal was influenced by a mother who pulled her child out of a Stoughton school after her child was bullied. It would allow officers to write parents citations if their child bullies someone twice in a 90-day period.

Engelburger says the fine could range between $50 and $1,000, ultimately being decided on a case by case basis by a judge.

"Just by bringing it forward and putting it out there, making people aware of this and educating people. I think just the awareness is probably going to stop a lot of it," said Engelberger.

It's also gaining support of an online petition that calls for an end to bullying. As of Thursday night, it had nearly 400 signatures and several comments.

One comment was from a mother whose two children have been bullied at school before.

"It's not just in school, it's in sports and now social media as well. This is a no-brainer. Time for a change," she said.

However, at least one person we spoke to said he was against the proposal, saying police should focus on other problems in the community.

Still, Engelburger believes it will be a benefit to the community.

"Anything you can do to help the community, to make this a better community, I think is well worth doing. And I think this is something that will do that," he said."

WKOW


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