A new ordinance in Plover, Wisconsin, allows police to notify parents in writing of a bullying incident, and then ticket them if their kid is caught bullying again within 90 days. Including court costs, multiple infractions could amount to a fine of $124. This newly approved measure is modeled after a similar ordinance passed two years ago in Monona, Wisconsin. Plover Police Chief Dan Ault explained the reasoning behind the measure, and why it is intended to give parents consequences:
It's not the school's responsibility to raise the kids. It's the school's job to teach the kids. It's not the police's job to raise your kids. It's the parents job to raise the kids.
It's an intriguing tool to combat bullying. If there's one thing that makes parents super angry, it's when their children unnecessarily cost them money. But Chief Ault hopes the policy never progresses to the point of a fine:
If we can intervene before it turns ugly, that's when we can really make a difference.
Maybe this will also start conversations about bullying before it begins, and help parents think about their own experiences with bullying growing up. Occasionally adults realize the error of their ways if they were the one of the bullies in their school. Hopefully it makes kids feel empowered and unafraid to stand up to bullies.