Parents of kids that bully other children could face jail time or a fine, according to a new law in North Tonawanda, a town in western New York. The law, which went into effect on October 1, could fine parents $250 and sentence them to 15 days in jail if their child violates the city’s curfew or any other city law, including bullying, twice in a 90-day period.
North Tonawanda officials say the law is aimed at minors who repeatedly bully other children in public places. And North Tonawanda Common Council members hope it will bring an end to bullying by holding the kids’ parents accountable.
Mom Victoria Crago told ABC that she began advocating for the law after she said her eighth grade son was attacked right in front of her by another classmate.
“This young man just sucker-punched him right in the face and hit him as hard as he could,” she said. “What really alarmed me about the situation was the brazen act of violence in front of a parent.”
The accused student in question was charged with third-degree assault, and court records show his case was transferred to family court and he is now working with a probation officer. Meanwhile, Crago created a Facebook page to call out bullying in her town. The public outrage on the page helped prompt officials to put the law in effect.
“We hope to never need to use this law but it’s there in extreme cases,” North Tonawanda City School District Superintendent Greg Woytila said. “But we need to do a better job and we are continually trying to do that.”
Crago hopes the new law will send a clear message to fellow parents.
“Watching your child harmed in front of you is a terrible thing,” she said. “I don’t wish it on anyone.”
What do you think? Should parents be held accountable for their kids’ actions in this way? Or do you think there’s there a better solution to combatting bullying?
h/t Country Living