Monona, Wis., parents whose children are repeat offenders in cases of bullying can now be ticketed by police and fined in court, according to a decision made by the Monona City Council on May 20. The mandate was created in an effort to reduce the epidemic of physical and emotional abuse faced by young Americans.
Monona Police Chief Wally Ostrenga said no specific event led to the council’s decision – the policy is preventative rather than corrective.
According to Ostrenga, parents who make an effort to improve their children’s behavior will not be ticketed. The council hopes those who would not originally comply with the policy will under threat of a $114 fine.
Parents with unruly children will receive one written warning. If another officer reports a second incident within 90 days of the warning, the parents will be fined.
Ticketing will be used as a “tool of last resort,” said City Attorney William S. Cole.
Monona Department Sergeant Ryan Losby, who spearheaded the decision, said he was inspired to end bullying after researching the most recent school shootings, many of which were carried out by victims of bullying. The issue became personal when Losby’s son fell victim to bullying.
“They were both known bullies,” Losby said. “When the police went to one boy’s house to talk to the parents about the incident, the mom started cussing and swearing at them.”
Losby believes the ordinance will be an important addition to anti-bullying efforts within the school district.