A Solution to Stop Bullying?
A Wisconsin school district is trying a controversial tactic to curb harassment: punishing the parents. Thanks to a new law, adults in Wisconsin Rapids can be fined up to $313 if their child bullies someone. Some critics say the legislation could unfairly penalize parents for their kids' actions--but officials hope that the policy will encourage adults to be aware of aggressive behavior and to be active in changing it. This isn't the first time a law like this has gone into effect; in North Tonawanda, New York, parents may be fined $250 and jailed up to 15 days if their child bullies someone. (Since the law went into effect in 2017, the police department has sent warnings to parents but hasn't fined or jailed anyone.) "If it starts costing the parents a couple hundred bucks every time their kid bullies somebody, maybe that will change the course of action," says Darren O'Brien, father of three Wisconsin Rapids girls who have been bullied. "Something has to be done."