Bullying has always been, and continues to be one of the most serious issues affecting schoolchildren all over the world, but opinion has been split over one US town’s approach to clamping down on the problem.
Police in the town of Shawano, Wisconsin, have introduced a ‘bullying ordinance’ that will see parents of local schoolchildren fined for bullying offences.
Although the Shawano school district already has an anti-bullying policy in place, ever-increasing instances of cyber-bullying have made anti-social behaviour among students difficult to monitor and handle.
As a result, the local police department was drafted in to work with the school district on the issue, leading to the creation of the bullying ordinance.
Under the ordinance, parents and guardians will have 90 days to positively intervene after being informed of their child’s anti-social behaviour.
If they fail to cooperate with the authorities, or if their child does not stop the bullying, the parent or guardian will be fined $366. A second offence will set the parent back $700.
Addressing concerned members of the public this week, local Police Chief Kohl said the emphasis is not on the fines themselves but rather the importance of parents communicating the harmful impact of bullying to their children.
"We believe that most parents, if not all, in the Shawano area want to help and contribute to a healthier community and increase the quality of life. So, those fines are basically the last thing that we're going to be thinking about,” he said.
Do you think this is a good idea for an anti-bullying strategy?