(Closed) Should parents be fined for their child's bullying?

posted 8 years ago in Parenting
  • poll: Should parents be fined if their kid(s) bully others?

    Absolutely! Maybe the threat of a fine will get parents to take this issue seriously!

    No way! We are just teaching kids that they won't be held accountable for their own actions!

    Other...explain

    The school (administration, staff, etc.) should be sued if they knew about it and did nothing!

  • Post # 33
    Member
    1248 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: April 2012 - Chateau Briand

    I think it’s a wonderful idea! Especially if the parents are smart enough to take it out of the kid’s “allowance” (if he or she has one). I definitely agree with PPs that mentioned it would probably makes parents take bullying a lot more seriously! 

    Post # 34
    Member
    2609 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2014 - Madison, WI

    This issue is taking place in right where I live…Monona is in the Madison Metro Area. I’m torn on the issue because both sides make some good points.

    When I was in school I was bullied by girls a lot. Once the internet became the hot new thing…enter cyber bullying. I was cyber bullied by someone’s MOTHER posing to be her daughter. She then turned the whole sitation around on me and said I was a horrible young girl. This was a woman in our church at the time. She dragged me into the pastor’s office and made me apologize for talking to her “daughter” online about topics SHE brought up! I was so confused, hurt, and scared at the time I just sat there and cried. I was 12 maybe 13 years old. In my case…I don’t think it would have made any difference.

    However, if the benefits of something like this could help then I say give it a chance. Let’s see how it goes, and adjust as needed.

    Post # 35
    Member
    4800 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    Hmm…interesting idea. My gut reflex is that it’s awesome, but I know that is a biased response based on the fact that I was bullied horribly throughout middle school and high school, and that the kid’s parents just did not give a crap. But while it appeals to me, I still have to say no to this because of concerns raised by PPs around abuse, struggling families, etc. While I commend the city for wanting to do something about bullying and being willing to take it to the extreme, I don’t think this is the way to accomplish that.

    Post # 36
    Member
    1722 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 1998

    When I was in elementary school, one of the popular girls was convinced that I had rolled my eyes at her. Over the course of the next year, my life became a living Hell. Every day was filled with insults from a throng of her admirers, both boys and girls alike. I was pushed, had things thrown into my face and was threatened. Thankfully, social media really didn’t exist back then – I can only imagine the torment if I’d also had to face it at home (which is increasingly becoming a round-the-clock problem for bullied kids).

    I love the idea of fining the parents. I spent a few years substitute teaching. No matter the district I went to or the grade level I was teaching – it was fairly obvious what was going on. The kids most frequently in trouble, and the kids most frequently bullying others, were often the kids talking about how their parents were in jail, or their parents screamed and fought a lot, etc. (ah, the things you overhear). It’s possible, although rare, that some kids are just poorly behaved no matter their upbringing.

    But I’ll never forget the times I was teaching in a few different private schools. The atmosphere was like night and day. All of these kids were so well-behaved. The worst problem I ever encountered was a very young child saying, “crap,” in class. As i was leaving one of the schools one day, I struck up a conversation with one of the principals and told him how well-behaved his students were. His answer stuck with me:

    “Well, parents have to pay for their kids to attend these schools, so they care a lot about the education of their children, as well as their behavior.” It made sense. They were investing into their children, and it showed.

    Maybe being fined is what some of these parents need to wake up to the fact that their kids are turning into horrible brats. When it hits them where it hurts, they wake up.

    I see it as being similar to several other problems – if my kid’s drinking or doing drugs, as his parent, I’m going to be held accountable for that. Why should harassment and assault be any different?

    Post # 37
    Member
    4844 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I think the kids should be held accountable too. Go spend a weekend in juvie. Go do a weekend bootcamp or something. They’re not going to care if they cost their parents money. Are the parents, who obviously failed at raising their kids in the first place going to suddenly clue in and start teaching them not to be jerks? The kids are already jerks. I doubt their parents have the ability to turn those years of influence around. Kids can understand cause and effect. Let them bear the consqeuences. 

    Post # 38
    Member
    5398 posts
    Bee Keeper

    I think I’m going to have to homeschool my children. I know that’s not answering the question but first I thought yes great idea and then the more I read this thread the more depressed I got and that’s all I can think about now (needing to homeschool).

    View original reply
    @VegasSukie:  that is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever heard in my life. Like, I have no words. 

    Post # 39
    Member
    482 posts
    Helper bee

    I’ve seen parents pay fines/go to jail when their kid misses too many days of school. Why not for bullying?

    The kid might not care if their parents pay a fine. But a parent who counts on their extra money will. Hurt them where it counts and it will have an effect.

    I read a bit on that story. Sounds like he had a history of being a sexual deviant and the school knew about it. I hope she takes them. For all they’re worth. And I hope they took a closer look at the ringleaders parents, this type of behavior sounds like a product of sexual abuse. Something is off there in a major way.

    Post # 40
    Member
    5398 posts
    Bee Keeper

    View original reply
    @NickiBee:  I read a bit on that story. Sounds like he had a history of being a sexual deviant and the school knew about it. I hope she takes them. For all they’re worth. And I hope they took a closer look at the ringleaders parents, this type of behavior sounds like a product of sexual abuse. Something is off there in a major way.

    +1

    Post # 41
    Member
    4762 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    View original reply
    @VegasSukie:  After reading this and linked article about the girl the ringleader molested when he was in 3rd grade, I think the principal at the time of the 1st assualt should be charged with child endangerment or something similar for not reporting the situation – I can’t believe there were no consequences the first time around! Of course it escalated over time – the kid was showed he could do whatever he wanted without getting in trouble.

    And yeah, in this case, the parents need to be investigated. The bully was in 3rd grade at the time of the 1st assualt – no third grader (or 5th grader, for that matter) should be aware of/performing such sexual acts. Something is not right at home.

    Post # 42
    Member
    734 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: November 2007

    I was bullied constantly throughout elementary, junior, and high school. I was once thrown against a locker and choked- in front of a teacher, who did nothing about it. I’ve been kicked, had a basketball thrown at my head (deliberately), and shoved into a wall with a metal crutch. I was confronted by an abusive ex boyfriend in my classroom and cussed out, threatened, and pushed against the wall because he’d heard me tell a friend I was scared of him- again, this was in front of a teacher who did nothing except say, “Do I need to send you two into the hall?” I can’t remember my early years with any kind of fondness, because it was pure hell for me. I attempted suicide 3 times, and no one did anything about the bullying. They told me to ‘grow thicker skin’.

    I think it’s a great idea to fine the parents, as well as have them and the child attend counseling classes. That way, it would get through to them either by wallet or mind. It won’t guarantee things will get better or that the bullying with cease, but it will guarantee that the child will at least think about the punishment (sitting through boring classes and/or having to pay back parents for the fines) before taking action.

     

    Post # 43
    Member
    7365 posts
    Busy Beekeeper

    My first reaction was HELL YEAH. But sadly, in the long term I don’t see this working it might make things worse.

    Alot of these “bullies” are infact bullied themselves by siblings, parents etc. Its so sad.  I don’t know if the issue of bullying will every go away. Cause sadly, its part of the human condition. When has there not been bullying? I’m depressed now 🙁

     

    Post # 43
    Member
    49 posts
    Newbee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    This is an old thread, but I need to bring up the fact that not all bullies come from broken homes and/or are poor.  A lot of the bullies from my middle school and high school days came from upper-middle class to upper class families.  They were the popluar kids…the in-crowd.  Sure, there ware a few bullies that fit the Hollywood sterotype of being isolated and coming from a poor home; however, the majority of them were the opposite…rich, popular, and either cheerleaders or jocks.  

    Post # 44
    Member
    67 posts
    Worker bee

    I don not want to start anything I just want to give my opinion, but I do not believe bullying is that big of a deal. I was bullied and my parents taught me to fight back. If someone is really making you feel bad enough to consider hurting yourself tell an adult. I finally fought back in self defense and after a couple fights people stopped picking on me. Now I know that isn’t an option for everyone, but there are teachers and principals for a reason. This is just one of those things that every one is taking insanely out of control and it will pass when someone brings up another issue in 2 years.

    Post # 45
    Member
    124 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: June 2016

    Chandler114:  This exactly.

    It could also be a slippery slope. When do we start charging parents for crimes their children have committed? We’ve already criminalized the behavior of children in our society enough, I don’t see how adding more litigation is helping things. This is a social issue, not a criminal one. I don’t support any legal action for bullying because there cannot be laws demanding that you be nice to people.

    We recently had a local incident where a teacher was called a flirt on social media and she went after the kid for damages. She had facebook photos up of her hugging her teenage students and no one bothered to investigate whether she was actually being inappropriate with students but several were suspended for bullying the teacher. I feel like I’m in an alternate universe – when did adults become capable of being bullied by children?? It points to some larger societial issues for sure.

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