MASON CITY, WISC. — A town in Wisconsin is looking to fine parents more than $300 for continued bullying behavior.
Many parents hope their kids know bullying isn’t okay, but should parents be held accountable if that behavior is starting to show?
“In a way I don’t think it’s the parents job before it starts,” Chad Wickman from Mason City said.
“I think they should do something about it. Go to the principal if it’s not taken care of go to the superintendent and make sure something is done about it,” Michaela Heck from Clear Lake said.
Shawano, Wisconsin just set the policy that parents will be fined if their child bully’s others. First a warning will be issued by police. If it happens again in the next 90 days, parents will get a $366 fine. If it happens in the next year, a $681 fine.
“I can see it happening with the way things are going, but I don’t know if I agree with it honestly,” Wickman said.
“That’s pretty interesting, I didn’t know there was such a thing,” Heck said.
The bullying defined in the policy isn’t targeted toward a child pushing and shoving, but more toward continued social media teasing.
School officials said any type of bullying is not okay.
”Students are starting to get those technology devices in their hands at an early age, and you’d be surprised how it trickles down to our third or fourth graders at the elementary. We do talk about different cyber bullying, such as what we can do to avoid it and how we need to be careful when we are on different social media sites because we aren’t old enough to handle all that responsibility,” Counselor Erin Bremer said at Lincoln Elementary in Osage.
Bremer said as a school they have taken steps toward raising awareness. They do small groups that include fourth graders mixed with first graders in order to get to know each other, but parents can play a big role.
“Being positive with our children, the better their relationships are going to be with those at school. A lot of times bullying behavior may stem from kids not getting the attention they need or maybe behavior isn’t directed to them in the most positive way,” Bremer said.
Two other towns in Wisconsin have recently passed similar policies as well.