Shawano parents could be fined for bullying kids

Posted at 6:31 PM, Apr 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-28 13:41:14-04

Shawano police have cracked down on bullying by holding parents accountable if their child picks on others.

A new city ordinance would allow police to fine parents if they are told their child is acting as a bully and they do nothing to stop it.

"It creates an avenue for us to work with parents to help find solutions," said Shawano Police Chief Mark Kohl.

Police will work with the Shawano School District to identify bullies and notify parents, according to Kohl. Parents will then have 90 days to intervene. If they don't and their child continues to bully, they will be fined $366. If there is a second offense within one year, they will be fined $681.

"At this point there's no initial complaints or concerns out there, we're just being proactive in working with the community to address this," Kohl said.

Many parents don't even know their child is acting as a bully, according to Kohl. This will help them know more about what is going on with their kids, he said, because bullying can have very harmful effects.

"It can lead to other things [like] drug use...and unfortunately suicide," he said.

The ordinance prohibits bullying and harassment of any kind, including cyber-bullying, within Shawano city limits. It is meant for anyone of school age, 18 and under.

The Shawano Common Council adopted the ordinance last week and it went into effect immediately.