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Monona, Wis., implements anti-bullying ordinance

June 3, 2013 at 12:59 PM

MONONA, Wis., June 3 (UPI) -- A new city ordinance went into effect in Monona, Wis., that holds parents accountable if their children bully other kids, officials said.

The ordinance, which was passed by the Monona City Council on May 20 and took effect Thursday, allows police to ticket parents of children who have been caught bullying other children on multiple occasions, the Wisconsin State Journal, Madison, reported.

A first offense of the parent-liability clause carries a $114 fine and subsequent violations within the same year carry fines of $177 each, officials said.

"Sometimes you'll knock on someone's door, and they won't want to talk to you -- their kids are perfect, they could never do anything wrong," said Monona Police Chief Wally Ostrenga. "This is for those times when we get the door slammed in our faces."

The parent-liability cause is part of a broader anti-bullying ordinance that prohibits any person age 12 or older from engaging in bullying.

Ostrenga said the ordinance was not prompted by any specific instance of bully, but a general concern about the consequences of bullying, including school shootings and teen suicides across the country.

"Ordinances reflect the values of a community," said Monona Mayor Bob Miller. " It would be my desire that the bullying ordinance reflects the values of Monona."

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