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Home » Criminal Law » Wisconsin Parents Required to Pay Fines for Their Bullying Child

Wisconsin Parents Required to Pay Fines for Their Bullying Child

a kid getting punched in front of lockersBullying is a timeless problem. While efforts towards prevention have seen much more support in recent years, there is no universal solution to the issue. The Wisconsin community of Shawano, however, is taking a unique approach: punish the kids AND the parents.

A coordinated effort between the Shawano police department, concerned parents, and local school officials has produced a new ordinance that puts the pressure on parents to address bullying in a productive manner. From now on, police officers will be involved in bullying incidents at Shawano schools. School administrators will be working alongside police to confront the parents of reported bullies to take steps towards resolving such behavior issues.

First-time bullying offenses merit a warning and an ultimatum: parents will have ninety days to convince their kids to shape up.

If ninety days go by and the bully’s behavior persists, the police will take action. Parents will be charged a $366 fine.

After the first fine is paid, the bullying better stop, or else parents will be looking at a heftier fine of $681.

Shawano parent Kylie Jones is a fan of the new ordinance. Her son attends high school in Shawano and has been bullied since middle school. From her perspective, bring tangible consequences into the realm of consideration could act as a wake-up call to parents of bullies. No one wants to fork over a few hundred dollars, and maybe that disinterest in paying hefty fines will be enough to at least start a discussion at home. If nothing else, she thinks it’s a good step forward:

“I need to know that not just my kids are safe but all the kids are safe. You know, like this shouldn’t be happening.”

What started it all:

Shawano’s bullying ordinance comes as a response to the school shooting earlier this year at a prom in Antigo, Wisconsin. Jakob Wagner, an eighteen-year-old who attended Antigo High School, shot two prom-goers in April with a rifle. His victims, one female and one male, survived with non-fatal injuries. Wagner, however, was shot by police and succumbed to his wounds in the hospital.

According to students at Antigo High School, Wagner had been bullied since middle school. Many remember him as a pretty nice but socially inept student who’d always been interested in guns. He used to get a lot of flack — often verbal but at times physical — for his allegedly poor hygiene.

Shawano residents felt pressured to take action in the aftermath in order to prevent such tragedies from happening in their community. There’s not much precedent for a law like this, so it’s unclear how effective bullying fines will be in the long run. But at least it’s something.

At Turner Law Offices, P.C., our team of attorneys has years of experience working with clients across a wide range of cases, many of which have involved bullying. If your child is the victim of bullying and you’re worried for his safety or that of others, or if your child has been accused of bullying, it’s possible that such a situation could wind up in the courtroom. If you find yourself swimming through similar circumstances, the first thing you should do is seek trustworthy legal representation to prevent anything from escalating. Call today, or go online to set up your free initial consultation, and meet with a skilled lawyer who’s ready and waiting to guide you toward the justice you deserve.

(615) 259-2660

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