For most parents, teaching children not to bully is a normal part of the child rearing process. The definition of bullying has broadened in recent years, and so have the consequences. Not just for the victim and the bully, but in more recent days, for the parents as well.
In Wisconsin, a new law seeks to implement financial penalties to the parents of bully’s. It is unknown how, or even if, this will benefit the victims, but is does set a new precedent as to the weight society is placing on anti-bullying agendas.
They believe the parents should be held accountable for their child’s behavior and if the child is engaged in bullying activity, the parents will have to pay up monetarily. The city council passed the new regulation which implements a fine of $366. That’s for the first offence if their child is caught bullying other students. The second offence within one year, and the fine goes up to $681. Read more.
The Extreme Consequences of Prolonged Bullying
For anyone who has ever felt the sting of being ridiculed by his or her peers, punched in the face, or slammed against the school lockers, there’s no question that it’s terrible. The story of Daniel Fitzpatrick is one extreme and harrowing example.
He was found dead late Thursday by his older sister in the attic of his family home, a belt wrapped around his neck.
“I gave up,” the teen scrawled on two sides of a single sheet of paper. “The teachers . . . they didn’t do anything,” he said, pouring his heart onto the page.
Daniel’s devastated parents shared the letter exclusively with the Daily News Friday, saying he wrote it in early July so someone would be “held accountable.” Read More
Emotional Effects and Statistics
Other effects can build up over time that impact every facet of the victim’s life. Mark Dombeck, PhD https://www.linkedin.com/in/mark-dombeck-phd-530a573 and licensed psychologist in private practice states that “Being the repetitive target of bullying damages your ability to yourself as a desirable capable and effective individual.”
Correspondingly, children who are bullied are more likely to have lower grades, get migraines, have a greater risk for depression and anxiety in their later lives, and are more probable to abuse drugs and alcohol. See Info-graph:
Will Fines for Bullying Work?
It’s impossible to know for sure if fining the parents of bullies will have any lasting or immediate impact, but it is a start at the least. Even when parents do their best to teach their kids to make good choices, they will inevitably make bad ones. However, such a move does help cultivate a culture of stewardship and social responsibility, and that’s something most people can stand behind.
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