Parents react to possible ordinance that would fine parents of young bullies

It's something all parents fear their kids could face: bullies. But one Wisconsin town is taking a unique approach to fight the problem - by imposing fines on the parents of young bullies.

Posted: Jun 11, 2019 12:36 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. -

In the social media era, bullying isn't limited to the playground. Josh Upton is one Rochester father who says bullying has increased since he was a child.

"In second grade, I was new in school, I got glasses, I was almost instantly the outcast," Upton said. "It wasn't social media at the time but a lot of it was little murmurs and things like that, so I understand."

Upton views fining parents as a legitimate way of sending the message that bullying is just wrong.

"If there isn't some system or punishment for this, it really does tend to snowball," Upton said. "It gets worse as they get older."

Penalties for a first fineable offense would be 50 dollars with additional costs bringing the total to 313 dolars.

Marie Bedard is a mother who isn't taking a lot of stock in the idea of fining the parents of bullies.

"It might affect lower-income parents more than it would other parents," Bedard said. "There are a lot of different ways we could go about it."

Bedard does believe the time is now for schools to take action.

"I think schools themselves probably need to come up with more stricter, I don't want to say punishments, but holding kids and parents responsible for their actions," Bedard said.

All of the parents we talked to agree that bullying is a real danger.

"If something isn't done, this generation is going to grow up, thinking this is normal and it's only gonna get worse with the next one," Upton said.

The ordinance will be considered June 18th.

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