The town of Plover, Wis., is taking on bullying in schools with an ordinance imposing $124 fines on the parents of bullies. Photo by Areipa.lt/Shutterstock
PLOVER, Wis., Nov. 19 (UPI) -- A Wisconsin police chief said an ordinance imposing fines on the parents of school bullies is based around the idea that "it's the parents' job to raise the kids."
Plover Police Chief Dan Ault, who suggested the ordinance passed by the town two weeks ago, said parents of children who police determine to have engaged in bullying behavior multiple times within a 90-day period can now be made to pay a $124 fine.
"It's not the school's responsibility to raise the kids. It's the school's job to teach the kids. It's not the police's job to raise your kids," Ault told WAOW-TV. "It's the parents' job to raise the kids."
Ault, who said his scheme was partially inspired by data suggesting teen suicide is sometimes associated with violence in schools, said he hopes parents are inspired to take responsibility for their kids and act like role models.
"If my kids broke something or something happened, I was responsible for it," he told the Stevens Point Journal. "One way or the other, I was responsible for it as the parent."
Jeanne Koepke, principal of McDill Elementary School in Plover, welcomed the new ordinance.
"Students have to learn to be social to each other, and that can sometimes be very mean," she said. "I certainly can't imagine you don't get good results when including parents/guardians in what's going on with their children, so I have to assume it's going to be a good result."
Ault said the first offense will only result in a warning and an offer of help for the parents.
"If they don't know what to do, we're certain we'll be able to provide some guidance on who to contact," Ault said. "Do kids have disputes, yes, but this repeated behavior where somebody you know, is intentionally being malicious, that's when we're involved."