In an effort to fight back against the scourge of bullying in local schools, the Madison, Wisconsin suburb of Monona has passed a city-wide ordinance that makes raising bullies a finable offense.
The so-called parent-liability clause gives police permission to ticket parents who don't do enough to stop their kids from bullying classmates.
"Sometimes you’ll knock on someone’s door and they won’t want to talk to you — their kids are perfect, they could never do anything wrong," said Monona Police Chief Wally Ostrenga. "This is for those times when we get the door slammed in our faces."
The parents or legal guardians of a bully will receive a written warning before being subject to a fine on subsequent violations.
First-time offenders will receive a fine of $114; further violations will cost $177 each.
Monona's anti-bullying ordinance makes it a violation of the municipal code for anyone over the age of 12 to "intimidate, emotionally abuse, slander, threaten or intimidate another person" without "legitimate purpose."
Anyone found to be in violation of the ordinance is subject to a municipal citation, irrespective of age.
"You could have a teen bullying someone and they could be subject to prosecution too," said Ostrenga.