Should Schools Fine Parents of a Bully

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What responsibility do parents have of a bully child? Do you believe they should be ticketed and forced to pay a fine? One school district says yes.

Speaking of fining parents, if you smoke in a car with a child in it there are lots of states who will be more than happy to write you a ticket. Now, onto bullying and an idea about how to stop it.

School District Votes To Fine Parents Of Bully Kids

Should Schools Fine Parents of a Bully?

Surely parents who are doing their best to raise loving, respectful adults would almost certainly take action immediately if they found out their child was a bully.

Unfortunately, there are parents who won’t. They either aren’t involved in what’s happening at school or simply don’t care. In a world as big as this one, we all know that’s the sad truth.

With this in mind, the City Council in Wisconsin Rapids voted 5-1 to implement a new anti-bullying ordinance that promises to drop a hefty fine in the laps of parents who don’t act to rein in their kids.

Taking their cue from two other cities in Wisconsin who have passed the same type of ordinance, the city council in Wisconsin Rapids wants to draw a hard line with parents who let bullying continue without any intervention.

Why Wisconsin Rapids is taking this stand now.

A 7th-grade girl received handwritten notes from students calling her names and encouraging her to commit suicide. The mom of one of the girl’s friends posted about it on Facebook and it blew up on social media.

The onslaught of hate-filled notes told her she was fat and ugly and should go kill herself.

Despite being bombarded with the notes, the girl never told her parents. In fact, it was only after one of her friends told her own mother that the victim’s parents found out. Unfortunately, that’s the way it is most of the time. Kids keep the fact that they are being bullied quiet and don’t want their parents to know. (Learn more at

What the ordinance will do.

The ordinance prohibits bullying or harassment, prohibits retaliation against any person who reports bullying or harassment, and also holds parents and guardians responsible for such behavior of children younger than 18 years old.

It includes a penalty of $50 for a child’s first bullying offense but would total $313 once court costs are factored in. The parents would receive a written warning before a citation is issued.

The council also voted in support of graduated fines for continued violations. A second offense would cost parents $100 plus additional fees and a third would cost $250 plus fees.

The school administrators said if an incident of bullying is minor and staff believes the bully can learn from a conversation, that’s the path they will take.

Parents of a Bully will be fined

“It’s government begging you to raise your children.”

“It caused a shock factor,” Chief Dan Ault of the Plover Police Department, speaking about his own town’s ordinance. 

He continued, “Parents had to pay attention. They have to take it seriously because there’s a penalty. This isn’t government telling you how to raise your children. It’s government begging you to raise your children.”

He says it works in their community. “If parents pay for an item that their child breaks in a store then they should also be held responsible if their child is bullying other students.”

Signs your child might be a bully.

It’s difficult to come to the realization that your own son or daughter might be bullying kids. Ask yourself these questions.

Are they prone to get into physical or verbal fights?
Do they have friends who are bullies?
Can they be aggressive toward you or others?
How often are they sent to the principal’s office or to detention?
Have you noticed they have unexplained extra money or new stuff?
Is blaming others for problems pretty common for them?

What would you say to the parents of a bully?

Is fining parents the right way to address the problem?

Go to to learn more about bullies and what you can do if your child is the victim of a bully.

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46 comments on “Should Schools Fine Parents of a Bully”

  1. Assuming these fines are equal to other legal fines, what happens when the parents don’t pay? They’re hauled off to jail…leaving the child parent less and most likely with a deep sense of guilt that the child sent them there, resulting in PLETHORA of mental issues. I say start with mandatory counseling for the child and possibly parents too (family counseling). So much of bullying is generational, and children (and parents) are not given the proper tools to make real, meaningful change. Fines are useless if all it ends up doing is creating people with serious mental issues, and/or increases parental bullying and anger.

  2. Deborah Ferrell

    Here is the problem & working at school I have seen this, a kid is pushed & bullied. He/she finally has had enough & retaliates. Guess who is in trouble?

  3. Bridget Doman

    The children who bully should also be reprimanded and punished by the state, not just the parents or they will never learn/change. Not all parents are aware their child is a bully.

  4. Yes, fines are a good way to help stop bullying in school but bullies don’t stop when school is out. Fines could make their bulling parents be worse to the child. Thus, starting the chain of abuse. Counseling is the best thing. More money has to be but toward counseling and therapy if needed.

  5. Kathleen Murotani

    My son is grown now, but when he was in elementary school he was bullied to the point one day he came home with torn clothes,bloody knees, and bruises all over him, 4 different boys were responsible for these actions, I went to the school and did everything as a parent you do spoke to the principal and nothing happened to these boys, with the exception of one, his mother contacted me and urged me to call the police on her son. But that was the only parent I heard from, so I say yes hold the parents responsible 100%!

  6. I believe the parents of the bully should be contacted and advised about the bullying going on and if they do nothing. Then they should be fined. 9 times out of 10 the reason the child is a bully is because the parents are bullies themselves.

  7. Jeanette Williams

    I have seen parents of bullies who are bullies themselves. Sometimes that’s how the child learned to bully.
    Military parents overseas respond immediately when they are told about their child’s actions because the military will return to family to the States, and it is noted in the parent’s military records.

  8. SchnauzerPrincess

    Yes, I believe parents are responsible for their child’s behavior. There are too many parents that think what their kids do is cute. I have even seen parents encourage the child to beat the other child up. There are also too many parent that ingore the behavior altogether or say something like boys will be boys or even let the kids work it out. Last year our neighbor’s daughter was bullied by another child and then beaten up to the point she was sent to the hospital by the school. The school kept both of the kids out for a day because there was a fight. I feel something has to change somewhere.

  9. Melissa Kessler

    I hop it gets to Indiana too cuz I know when I was in school I was bullied and I told the principal about it the next day.

  10. Depending on the situation I could get behind this. Bullys are essential to kids growing up. It teaches kids to stand up for themselves. My kids know to defend themselves because I’m not raising victims, I’m raising strong independent children who don’t take shit… I’ll take my chances with the bully’s parents before I ever get cops involved. That’s how it should be anyways.

  11. Bullying is a serious issue, parents need to step up and discipline their kids, but because they don’t see their kid actually doing it, they don’t believe it, fines will help, it’ll hit ‘Em where it hurts

  12. It would be better if they made the parents take parenting classes. Nobody wants to raise a bully but they might be inadvertently doing so because they don’t know how to do better. Many bullies are that way because they feel powerless at home.

    1. Rosaleen Reisert

      Paying a fine will never solve the problem. Making the child attend anger management or working at a soup kitchen would be better.

  13. Magikoopacody9000

    My son was bullied from Pre-k up to 6th grade. It was a fight all 8 years and I confronted the families, warned that I would press assault charges, I went to the superintendent of schools, argued with teachers and the principals. All was useless. My son was talking about suicide when we had distance learning when Covid hit. I pulled him out of public school and this was our second year of homeschooling. No bullies no stress,we get up when we want and he learns what he wants. Summer is spent at the pool and going on family field trips. Its taken all that stress and humiliation and turned it into a much happier 13 yr.old. Public schools are useless and they have their little anti-bullying campaines and every complaint is swept under the rug and the kids who are bullied are left thinking the only life they will have is turning into grabbing a rope and hanging themselves or taking a bunch of pills to end their pain.

    1. I’m sorry your son went through this. Public and parochial schools say they have an anti bullying rule but seldom enforce it. I’m happy to hear you solved it for him and he is much better off.

  14. I love this! MY THOUGHTS, you are what you are taught. Some people don’t understand some of the life-long effects of bullying.

  15. Needed to be done a very long time ago, but with too many kids committing suicide these days, then it should be done only with higher fines. If the child that was being bullied ends up taking their life afterall, then maybe a stent in juvie should be imposed. We need to do something about this and we need to be harsh about it as well. Parents who object are probably the parents of these bullies and need to be made accountable.

  16. The majority of bullying happens before, during or after school. Schools at every level need to exert more actual punishment for bullying. Talking to a bully is not going to cut it! Detention, suspensions and then expulsion.

    Depending on the nature of what is being said/done, bullying often rises to the level of criminal assault and/or battery. A visit from the police could certainly serve as a wake-up call.

    Kids/adults that are bullied often feel marginalized and that no one cares. It’s because nothing gets done to stop it from happening. Stricter punishments and consequences for the bully and his/her parents will show that people do care!

  17. I would be comfortable with this idea if the majority of the parents agree upon the definition of bullying.


    Sometimes the bully is reacting to his own experiences (ie: abuse, intimidation etc).  He and parents definitely need counseling, community service etc. These can be provided through a state organization such as DHS.  Fining the parents should be last resort.

  19. Karen Mattingley

    My daughter was punched in the he face and head by an 11 yr old and was accompanied by a 14 yr she pushed her a away from her and got off bus which it was her bus stop and the other 2 girls got off the bus with her which was not their bus stop by he 11 yr old got suspended off the bus but idk for how long time the 14 yr old has to sit in front seat 

  20. Judith Geiger

    If parents can’t do it on their own, I guess they are left with the money alternative. Parents hate giving up money more than anything. But, becareful, the parents might replace their bullying with child abuse. Who knows, most shouldn’t have been parents if they can’t teach children right from wrong and teach respect. I hope this works. STOP THE BULLYING!

  21. Barbars Chrisiannsen

    Parents get off your social media long enough to teach your children by example how to behave respectfully towards others. Teach them what it feels like to be in the shoes of those being bullied . Discipline your children accordingly. Parents be the parents instead of allowing the children to be yhe parents. If you are the one they learned from how to bully you belong in jail and minus yout children until you get your act together..

  22. Kimberly Ramay

    Yes I believe this is a good idea but the factor in all of this is that the parents also need to learn to teach their children starting out young respect,manners,and responsibilities, and I don’t care what anybody thinks I spanked my children and brought them up to respect everybody and to have manners and responsibly and they got punished if they did wrong parents would not have to worry about their children being bullies if they’d lay down the rules at a young age so if it means that you get fined so be it if you can’t pay your fine then do community service and the child should have to do community service as well no matter if the parents have to pay a fine

  23. This would be amazing here in Utah. With a child that has been bullied now for 4 years it couldn’t happen soon enough. The school FINALLY started to put the bullies ionic in-school suspension. Unfortunately, the last time that happened the bully’s friends retaliated and beat up my 5th grader so bad that the police were called and the kids had to go to court and got community service. This year it has started all over again but with a different group of kids. My son has now been so torn down by these students that he has started saying things like, “I wish I were dead” “I don’t have any friends and no one likes me” “I am worthless and bad” “I am ugly”. This breaks my heart and we tell him everyday how loved he is. We tried to switch him schools but none of the schools in our area would take him. 

    If this came to our town I would really hope this would make a difference in our community. My heart breaks for the children being bullied and I do believe 100% that the parents should take responsibility for the actions of their children. If I were the parent of a bully I would be willing to take responsibility for sure. I will not allow my child to destroy another child, even if that meant taking a fine and getting the child community service! This state had an amazing idea! Hats off to them and a huge round of applause! 

    1. Holly, Put your son in Karate -self defense class. I’d sue the school for not keeping your son safe. I’d sue the parents holding them accountable for their kids bad actions .I’d get a lawyer and take the bullies to court & have these attacks put on their records . No way would I let this go on for 4 years. I just readsd a news story where this boy killed his self because of kids bullying him in school. Parents don’t wait till it’s too late.

    2. Martial arts doesn’t always help. My son was a black belt, his bully outweighed him by 50lbs. We tried to put him in another school as well & were turned down b/c we were “out of district” but only live 10 miles from said school. We homeschooled after it became so bad that he was thrown into a trash can & the school did nothing.  We were afraid he was going to become suicidal, because he had made some remarks eluding to that. My daughter went to the same school. She was four years younger, but very popular at school. New admin at that time and they are wonderful. The bully was being raised by his 80-year-old grandmother. She could not control him. No father figure poor grandfather and his mother was in prison for drugs.

    3. Absolutely parents should be responsible for their kids actions.  The only way to get their (parents) attention is if it’s going to cost them.  I think this should also take place in how many times they get in trouble at school,  cause trouble in their communities etc.     I can almost guarantee if it’s hitting their pockets, it’ll get their attention.  Our teachers do not deserve to be bullied either by kids or their parents.  Esp when  school board members are afraid to take the side of a teacher.

  24. I think that if the child knew their parent would need to pay a fine it would increase the chance that they stopped the behaviour. I also think though, that the parents should be given the chance to deal with the situation before receiving a fine, and further communication needs to take place first and other options explored. Then if there is no improvement then yes a fine would be appropriate. It’s risky though as causing a family to become in further debt if they don’t have much of an income could cause the situation to worsen as stress at home may be a contributing factor to the reason the child is a bully in the first place. Other factors may need to be considered like if the child is being cared for properly or if there are issues at home, abuse, neglect etc.

    1. You havent given any thought to this have you? the schools and social services have taken the parents ability to parent. So now they want to take the parents cash as well? How about the schools get back to teaching the basics and stop trying to control society.

    2. Awesome Dawson

      Obviously you haven’t had a child come home from school crying with clothes torn and things in their backpack destroyed.Afraid to go to school. Sometimes talking to the teachers or principal works but if they don’t see the bullying happen they don’t or can’t do anything.As far as the teachers going back to basics…they are there to teach the children NOT parent them.Too many parents want to be their childs friend first then their parent.It should be the other way around.

  25. Joyce Jackson

    Yes, fine the parent and give them and their parents community service.  The parents are just as responsible as their bullying children, because if they cared they could s control their behaviors. 

  26. As sad as it sounds – this is pretty much what it has come to with some parents who are not ‘parenting’ or taking responsibility.  I say; GO FOR IT and make it nationwide!  I want my grandchildren and all children protected. 

  27. Not sure if this would work. I think guidance for the bully to take class on social etiquettes and or mandatory volunteering at children’s hospitals wards might be better option to teach those bullies compassion… but if a fine is paid that money needs to be donated to go to a good cause that will benefit ones in needs and not just go into someone pocket.

  28. Dorothy Emily Wolfgang

    And the bullies need to be required to do community service as well as give an apology in front of all of the students of the school.

    1. Richard Sowash, a caring individual. :-)

      I applaud this action and encourage law makers to take action and make it law. Of course most brat like children have brat like parents that don’t care what their children do as long as they don’t bring it home. I have a son that could have been a serious bully due to his size but because of the way he was brought up he fights for the underprivileged and abused!

  29. It’s ridiculous that it has come to this. However, when these parents have to take money out of their own pockets they will finally take notice. Bravo. 

    1. Deborah Ervin

      I agree Annette! My grandson was bullied at school, not only by fellow students, but also by several of his teachers. When the principal was faced by my daughter, he said it had never been a problem in their school before. Every school has a problem with someone being bullied.

    2. Deliese Olson

      My now 17 year old grandson was bullied in gradeschool (when he was about 6 yrs old) – in my presence by the teacher in front of a large group of kids in the hall.  I immediately went to the office to speak with the principle.Tthe out come?  I was told that because he was my grandson it was not my place to intervene and that he wasn’t physically injured so he was OK.  Within 3 days after that he began stuttering because of the severe emotional trauma.  My daughter and son-in-law pulled their boys from public schools because of this and all 4 of their children have been homeschooled since then.  

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