Tickets to prevent future workplace bullies

by |

A city in Wisconsin is going straight to the top with its new bullying legislation. The Monona City Council approved a series of fines for parents whose children repeatedly bully others.

Monona parents whose children repeatedly bully others can now be ticketed by police and fined up to $177 in municipal court.

The move was prompted by a general concern about the tragic consequences of bullying, including a rash of school shootings and teen suicides across the country, according to Monona Police Chief Wally Ostrenga.

Ostrenga hoped the threat of a ticket will be enough and said the parent-liability clause would likely be used sparingly, when parents were obstructive or uncooperative.

“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,” Ostrenga said. “This is for those times when we get the door slammed in our faces.”

Parents who are making a good-faith effort to address a child’s behavior would not be ticketed, he said.

City Attorney William S. Cole called the tactic “a tool of last resort” and said he believes it would withstand a court challenge.

“I think it’s fantastic,” said Jason Burns, executive director of Equality Wisconsin, a Milwaukee nonprofit organization that works on bullying prevention in schools. “It forces parents to be more involved in their child’s life, if they’re not already.”

HRD Forum is the place for positive industry interaction and welcomes your professional and informed opinion.

Name (required)
Comment (required)
By submitting, I agree to the Terms & Conditions