Post # 1
Interesting article here about a town that has begun issuing fines to the parents of children who are bullies. What do you bees think about this? Is it fair? Unfair? Would you pay the fine? Make your kid pay it?
I do not have kids but I have nieces and nephews and I worry about how bullying may effect them as they get older. They have already been called horrible names re: sexuality (which is just crazy to me) and they are 7! I would imagine that the intolerance will only get worse with age. I think I would fully support a law that allows parents to be fined when they can’t keep their kids in line.
Post # 3
@VegasSukie: I actually love that idea.
Parents need to be responsible for the behavior of their own children. A lot of kids learn to be bullies at home, because that’s where they’re being bullied by someone; they start as victims themselves and then take it out on weaker kids. It’s a vicious cycle. Perhaps making parents pay for their mistakes in a financial way will make them wake the hell up and become better parents.
Post # 4
@VegasSukie: Yes, I feel they should. IMO, behind every rotten kid is a rotten parent.
Post # 5
At a certain point, people need to be accountable for their own actions. Maybe their parents gave them all the life skills they would need, but they are choosing to ignore them and operate by their own moral compass. Or hey, maybe the parents didn’t provide that guidance. Either way, it is a choice. Even the smallest of kids knows the difference between right and wrong. I do think parents need to be accountable to teach, guide, and discipline their kids, but fined? I think that’s stupid.
Post # 6
I say yes. My niece has been very heavily bullied, to the point that she has been institutionalized a few times for trying to kill herself. Her mother contacted the parents of the bullies and they turned out to be exactly like their children! Big surprise.
Post # 8
Hey, that’s right by me! I think it’s a great idea. It disgusts me beyond words when parents say shit like “What do you want me to do? I can’t control my child, he does what he wants”. Seriously, we had some little monster shoot a little girl with a pellet gun, freaked her out, her poor dad threw himself over her to protect her. Cops got called, and the parents response was “Why is this my problem?”. Kid was 12, and had been shooting out the parking lot lights every night for days and the parents just didn’t care. One of my co-workers has a granddaughter that got tormented every single day to the point where she cried hysterically before school every day. They KNEW who was torturing her, and the parents didn’t care, and they made it perfectly clear that they weren’t willing to discipline their spawn. Maybe they’ll start caring when they have to pay for their little monsters.
Post # 9
I say yes. As a teacher, almost all of the parents of the kids who bullied in my classrooms had the attitude of “I taught them to fight.” I don’t mind parents teaching their kids to stand up for themselves (they should!) but these parents just said “fight when you don’t like what other kids are doing.” Changing the parents’ attitude was instrumental in changing the child’s behavior (often, suspension was necessary just so the parent had to spend a whole day with their own kid.)
Post # 10
Just wanted to add another element to the mix….what about issuing fines to schools, principals, staff that fail to report bullying they are aware of or fail to do anything once bullying is reported to them?
Post # 11
@VegasSukie: It sounds like a good idea, but then I wonder if it could lead to other problems. Say the bully comes from a poor family and the fine just adds to the debt (or whatever) and the parents take it out on their kid. No lessons learned here, but it makes the bully even more angry and he/she gets creative. Maybe the bully then decides to threaten his/her victims to keep quiet.
I don’t know. I think that some parents absolutely need to do more to be in control of their kids, but not sure if giving them a fine is the answer. Do speeding tickets stop people from speeding? I can see some busy parents just being like “don’t do it again”, paying the fine, and ignoring the issue.
It might be a step in the right direction, though.
Post # 12
I agree that parents need to share in the responsibility for the bullying, but what I worry about is parents who may be bullies themselves who will punish their children further when they get dinged with a fine.
If a child is abused or neglected at home and acting out at school because of it, fining the parents may only serve to make the problem worse. I realize that some kids come from great families so this may not apply, but it’s the first thing I thought of.
ETA woops, missed the post above me… sorry for repeating basically the same thing 🙂
Post # 13
I think that its a good idea. Maybe parents will start taking it more seriously if there are charges for it. If it were my child, I would make them pay me back (either working a job to pay me, or doing chores depending on age). I think that would make the child accountable, but also make the parents accountable as well.
Post # 14
I don’t think parents should be automatically fined. how do u know that the parents are teaching their kids to nite ully…but the kids don’t give a shit. the parents aren’t always to blame.
Post # 15
@PermaStudent: This is a good point.
I have a friend whose 7 year old gets bullied by a kid at school. He’s slapped her butt a number of times, stolen her boot on the playground (in the snow!), pushed her down, pulled her hair, etc. NOTHING is done about it. She’s been to the school SO MANY times, and they keep telling her that they’ll take care of it, when they aren’t doing anything. She’s been waffling on whether or not to call the kids’s parents herself. Too bad if her daughter tried to defend herself, SHE’D get in trouble.
@WannaBeeMrsB: This is a great idea.
Post # 16
I think something needs to be done, but I don’t know if fining parents will help the problem or stop a kid from bullying.
Maybe if we want to hold parents of bullies accountable (which I mostly agree with), then we should require both them and their kids to attend anti-bullying seminars or family counseling or something along those lines. Parents won’t like having to sacrifice their time and maybe it will open their eyes, as well as present a method for discussing bullying with their kid.
I think the problem is that no matter what policies are instituted, those who think their kids are perfect or who don’t see bullying as a problem are not going to change.