Just about anyone who's ever been to school in their lifetime has almost definitely had experience with a bully before; I sure did throughout much of my childhood.
Bullying is a very serious issue in both elementary and high schools, and has only continued to be so into the modern era. While kids used to "just" have to worry about being beaten up or made fun of while at school (which was traumatic enough as it was), now the bullying continues even once they've gotten home thanks to things like social media and texting.
It's an issue that can have very serious repercussions, as we've seen plenty of times that bullying has resulted in young kids and teenagers causing harm to themselves to escape it all, sometimes fatally.
Of course, there's often other sides to this issue as well. Oftentimes, bullies come from households that are less than ideal, and they end up lashing out at others in order to deal with their own pain. Even when this isn't the case, bullies can be made to feel like they can get away with anything if their parents constantly fail to do anything to discipline them.
Well, the town of North Tanowanda, NY, has just instituted a law that they hope will make parents more accountable for the actions of their children; a law that can even carry jail time with it.
The details of this law are pretty interesting...
The North Tonawanda Common Council just instituted the new law into service, which offers the parents of bullies a choice of a punishment for their children's behavior: either a $250 fine, or 15 days in jail.
The movement for the law began when Victoria Crago, a local mom, found out that her son was being bullied and flat-out attacked by other students, with the school's administration doing barely anything to help him. It turns out that other parents had similar complaints, and together they formed the North Tonawanda Coalition for Safe Schools and Streets, with the hopes of improving the situation.
Speaking to local news, Crago stated the following;
“We didn’t feel like maybe anything was being done and then all of a sudden I heard about this ordinance going through so it was shocking and welcomed. I think that these teens have figured out that they can get away with this which is why they’re repeat offenders. But if there’s a tougher law in place it may give them pause."
North Tonawanda Mayor Art Pappas has fully backed the law, explaining that “We want the message out there that we’re serious about this. We don’t want anyone to be afraid to be in our city, or walk the streets or go to school. I think it’s going to get a message out there. That certain parents who haven’t now have to take some responsibility for their children."
What do you think? Is it right to punish the parents of bullies?