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New Wisconsin Anti-Bullying Ordinance Will Fine Parents If Their Kids Suck

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By HVnews on June 4, 2013

Common sense or over the line? A new ordinance in one Wisconsin town allows authorities to fine parents if their child bullies another student.

The city of Monona passed the “parent-liability” clause that states police can issue tickets to parents of bullies, according to Madison.com, and that those parents can then be fined in municipal courts.

But what would classify as bullying? 

The ordinance defines bullying as “an intentional course of conduct which is reasonably likely to intimidate, emotionally abuse, slander, threaten or intimidate another person and which serves no legitimate purpose.”

The fine would be $114 for the first offense, then $177 for each repeat offense within a year of the first.

Monona Police Chief Wally Ostrenga said he feels the parent-liability clause will be used sparingly, if at all, and only in cases in which the parents are “obstructive” or “uncooperative.”

Officials said that the ordinance was in response to school violence around the country. It was Monona Police Det. Sgt. Ryan Losby who lobbied for the “parent-liability clause” because he was motivated by research that showed almost all the recent school shootings were performed by someone who had been bullied themselves.

Jack Polivy and Brett Rosner contributed to this report.

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