Parents could be fined in Shawano anti-bullying ordinance

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SHAWANO (WLUK) -- It's a problem at schools across the country, but Shawano police wanted to find a new proactive approach when it comes to limiting bullying.

Two weeks ago, Shawano's city council passed an anti-bullying ordinance, which allows for parents to be fined if their child's behavior is considered to be bullying.

"We feel without getting the parent involved, just giving a ticket or fining someone out of this isn't the answer," said Chief Mark Kohl of the Shawano Police Department.

Under the new ordinance, a parent will be warned if police determine their child was involved in bullying. The parent will have 90 days to address their child's behavior. After that time, if police determine the child is still bullying, the parent will be issued a $366 fine. Two offenses in one year will equal a $681 fine.


"I think something needs to be done for sure," said Robert Riesterer, a Shawano parent. "I know my son comes home and he's just not too happy some days."

"They have three months where maybe their kid can go to counseling and move on from there and maybe get to know the situation at hand and why they bullied to begin with," said Kylee Jones, a parent.

A few parents told FOX 11 they question how the ordinance will be enforced because labeling someone a bully can be subjective.

"This isn't generated towards the kids being kids, some playground banter," said Kohl. "This is the person that is meticulously using social media or saying things that are vulgar in an attempt to hurt, discredit, and really demean a person."

Kohl says the city's ordinance is tailored after similar ones passed in Plover and Monona.

"They believe it's made a positive impact on their city," said Kohl.

Kohl says neither community has issued a fine yet. He hopes Shawano never has to either.

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