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Parents of Bullies in Monona, Wisc., Are Being Fined for Kids’ Bad Behavior

42 29568881 Parents of Bullies in Monona, Wisc., Are Being Fined for Kids Bad Behavior

If you’re a parent in Monona, Wisconsin, you better make sure that your kid knows to mind his p’s and q’s, because otherwise you will find yourself paying a hefty fine. Police in town are now holding parents accountable for failing to address their children’s bad behavior and poor treatment of others. Bullying fines start at $ 114 and repeat offenses can cost parents up to $ 177 every time, so if you have a problem child, then you either need to get some help in the discipline department or prepare to leave town.

Monona Police Chief Walter Ostrenga believes the solution to what he considers a “global” epidemic of bullying begins at home with the parents and caregivers, and so he hopes that these citations will give them even more of an incentive to take ownership and correct their children’s behavioral issues. However, Ostrenga says tickets will be handed out only for extreme cases; parents who are actively addressing the problem would be exempt, and only uncooperative parents would be fined.

“Sometimes when you knock on someone’s door, they’ll slam it in your face,” Ostrenga told the News. “They’ll say, ‘I can raise my kids any way I want to.’”

Det. Sgt. Ryan Losby, the officer who was behind the launch of the “parent liability” clause in Monona, was blown away by the startling statistics and research that showed said that perpetrators of heinous crimes, like that of recent school shootings, felt that they themselves were victims of bullying.

“That end of the violence has really escalated,” Losby told the Wisconsin State Journal. ”There’s also the problem with social media. It’s too easy to put someone down on Facebook or through mass texts. You’re not looking at that person as a human being.”

The tickets are being treated as a municipal code violation, and like any other violation, the victim will have to file a report with the police who will then gather cell phone, computer, and any other evidence, as well as take statements from witnesses. Before being ticketed, parents will be informed in writing by an officer of a previous violation by the same child within the past 90 days. 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.”

Bullying is a serious issue; it has resulted in so many senseless and horrific crimes involving children. I would completely support this notion should it reach my home state — although I hope it’s never necessary.

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