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 KidPower.org.)

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

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

  1. My son is in his mid 20′ and I believe he is still effected from bullying from his time in school. Something has to change. No more being politically correct.

  2. Susan K Meyer

    get rid of the cell phones in school. My students had to hand over their phones when they walked into class, and I would hand them back at the end of the day. Social media, especially at school, is not needed. There are phones everywhere; the offices, the classrooms, etc.

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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%!

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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