Northern Wisconsin Community To Begin Fining Parents For Children's Bullying

Parents in Shawano can now be on the hook for a $366 fine if their kids continue to bully others even after a warning.

The City Council passed the ordinance on Tuesday, just days before a shooting outside the Antigo High School prom, 45 miles away. Some students suggested the gunman was partly motivated by bullying, though law enforcement authorities have yet to verify that.

Shawano Police Chief Mark Kohl said the ordinance isn’t about revenue. Rather, it’s meant to be a wake-up call for parents.

“The forfeiture is a last-ditch effort to show (parents) that we take this bullying serious,” said Kohl. “But I suspect that we probably won’t issue one ticket to a parent, because I believe they’ll want to intervene and help us.”

Several other cities — including Juno, Oconto, Seymour and Gillette — have similar ordinances.

In Shawano, bullying is defined as: “An intentional course of conduct which is reasonably likely to intimidate, emotionally abuse, slander, threaten or intimidate another person and which serves no legitimate purpose.”