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Wisconsin town passes law that will fine parents for their childrens bullying


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http://www.takepart.com/article/2013/06/04/kids-are-bullies-monona-wisconsin-parents-fined

It almost sounds like a fake news story.

In Monona, Wisconsin, parents can now be ticketed by police and fined in municipal court if their children repeatedly bully others.

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Some bullying experts are praising the move.

“Today’s bullying is literally a matter of life and death,” Steve Siebold, author of Sex, Politics and Religion: How Delusional Thinking is Destroying America, told TakePart. “I applaud the city of Monona, Wisconsin, for taking such an extreme measure. Many parents still brush off bullying as a natural part of growing up, and it’s about time the government starts cracking down on those moms and dads who fail to recognize just how serious bullying in the 21st century has become.”

Im not in support of bullying obviously but wow this sets a dangerous precedent.

Can we now pass laws on how to discipline your children.

And who decides what is appropriate enough punishment to avoid the fine?

Words escape me on this one.

Ps, i never start threads so i know i formated this badly. Sorry.

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I'm all for passing laws on how to raise children. Also eugenics and compulsory sterilization for those deemed to be unfit for parenting. I'm not kidding.

Really?

Im certainly not a fan of bullying or bad parenting but i hate big brother even more and it scares me the way our laws are heading.

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Really?

Im certainly not a fan of bullying or bad parenting but i hate big brother even more and it scares me the way our laws are heading.

I've had way more and way worse real life experiences with bad parents than I have with big brother. In fact, I can't remember any actual problems I've ever had with the latter. As a teacher and coach, it's pretty hard watching some of these "parents" permanently **** up their kids though. Not sure that they're entitled to do that just because they managed to squeeze something into or out of a vagina.
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Because I care about kids?

Im guessing you think I'm talking about parents giving me problems. I'm not.

No i was just busting your stones about being a teacher and a coach so obviously you have to deal with annoying parents all the time.

But really my problem with this is in my opinion its far too vague and leaves too much to interpretation.

Suppose a kid just doesnt like another kid and doesn't want to play with them.

Is that bullying?

Who decides?

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I'm all for passing laws on how to raise children. Also eugenics and compulsory sterilization for those deemed to be unfit for parenting. I'm not kidding.

 

teaching and coaching?......masochist   :P

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Not sure yet about this new potential law, but something does need to be done nationwide about holding parents accountable for lack of discipline/improper raising to the point their kid is a constant behavior issue that targets others. and disrupts the educational process in school. Parents don't seem to understand their bad kid causes a ripple effect; that their kid's misbehavior isn't a series of isolated events. 

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Mixed mines on this. On the one hand, it seems completely unfair and stupid to believe that a parent can control a child's actions 24 hours a day especially when they are not near the kid. On the other hand, if we take cyber bullying for example, you can make an argument that the parent is an accomplice for if the parent did not provide the child with a computer or smart phone their ability to bully would be greatly reduced (they'd still have the access to libraries, etc. but it'd be harder).

 

All said, I do think that the parent has a huge responsibility in shaping the kid and when I taught I met far too many apathetic parents who had all but checked out of their kids' lives by the age of 12. Thinking that way, I can see negligence on the parents' part. Most of me still thinks it is a stretch to hold the parent responsible though.

 

Lastly, I don't think it is as simple as bad parenting or negligence. There has always been bullying and to a degree I think it exists independent of parenting style. We should try to limit it, but I think the human animal will always produce bullies. I think it has to do with the fact that humans are a pack animal and there are alphas and betas. Some of the alphas are evil and are bullies. In nature, the pack will eventually submit, abandon or gang up on the abusive alpha.

 

So, I'm not sure where I stand on fining the parents. I don't like it, but I don't think it entirely unreasonable either. 

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I agree Burgold that it's not necessarily bad parenting, but I do believe that part of it is due to the parents and child being disengaged in their relationship because of today's busy lifestyle.

I probably agree, but I'd just stipulate that it is "often"  about disengaged parents or bad parenting and not always.  I am hesitant to lay it at the feet of today's busy lifestyle because we had bullies when I was a kid too and they were plenty mean. They just didn't have some of the tools of the day or their actions didn't get the attention it did on media, internet, blogs, etc.

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Bottom line: Too many stupid people reproduce.

Couldn't agree more.  If I thought it would be done in a fair manner, I would support a license needed to reproduce.  Of course, if I were the one handing out license's, I struggle to think of many people I would grant one to.  So I do my part by not having children.  At least I know I would be a horrible parent.

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If a neighborhood kid breaks my window I'm holding his parents accountable.

If a neighborhood kid bullies mine then why not hold the parents accountable as well?

 

For me the bottom line is that kids are not accountable for themselves and too many parents are apathetic and disengaged. Maybe when they are greeted at the door by their local law enforcement because of the damage "little johnny/jane" is inflicting on his/her peers then they will stop pretending that it's all in good fun and part of growing up. 

 

I'm all for holding parents accountable for their progeny because we all have to deal with the effects of their decisions. Used to be that if you saw a neighborhood kid acting up you'd drag him/her back to their parents and swift discipline would follow. Now, you'd be charged with assault.

 

It takes a village to raise a child but too many are insistent upon raising the village idiots.

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Mixed feelings, if nothing else because its so subjective and especially with the current drift of society and culture toward letting individual feelings become more important than collective truth. Its a dangerous line to draw. What constitutes bullying? A negative text message? A harsh or threatening word? A trigger or micro-aggression?

 

On the other hand, accountability in some form is never a bad thing.

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If a neighborhood kid breaks my window I'm holding his parents accountable.

If a neighborhood kid bullies mine then why not hold the parents accountable as well?

For me the bottom line is that kids are not accountable for themselves and too many parents are apathetic and disengaged. Maybe when they are greeted at the door by their local law enforcement because of the damage "little johnny/jane" is inflicting on his/her peers then they will stop pretending that it's all in good fun and part of growing up.

I'm all for holding parents accountable for their progeny because we all have to deal with the effects of their decisions. Used to be that if you saw a neighborhood kid acting up you'd drag him/her back to their parents and swift discipline would follow. Now, you'd be charged with assault.

It takes a village to raise a child but too many are insistent upon raising the village idiots.

I see your point about the window, i didn't look at it that way.

For me to agree to this though bullying would have to be clearly defined and all examples would have to be listed.

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I see your point about the window, i didn't look at it that way.

For me to agree to this though bullying would have to be clearly defined and all examples would have to be listed.

But that's the problem really... how to define bullying. Its like pornography, it can be hard to define at times, but you know it when you see it.

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I see your point about the window, i didn't look at it that way.

For me to agree to this though bullying would have to be clearly defined and all examples would have to be listed.

Oh I agree completely.

My daughter came home from school as a 2nd or 3rd grader and she said that one of her friends was being bullied by another student, so I asked her what was going on. Come to find out that her friend was called a "meanie" because she wouldn't play with the other girl. I told her that if that's all that happened then that's not really bullying because it really needs to be a pattern. 

 

The difficulty with any of this is in determining when bullying is taking place, which IMO would require documentation. The hardest part then is that the list of offenses can then be picked apart to render it meaningless, especially if the bullying is emotional and not physical. Add to that the reality that with a bullying situation even minor slights against the victim are felt just as severely because a prior history has been established.

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But that's the problem really... how to define bullying. Its like pornography, it can be hard to define at times, but you know it when you see it.

If i break your window i am clearly responsible for repairing it under law, no grey area.

If i tell you to "go **** yourself" should i be fined for bullying you?

And yes i know we're talking about kids here and not adults but i see this spreading if it catches on at all

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Topic like this one came up in my ethics class. And I'm going to stick with the response I gave there.

There's an ethical rule that's stuck in my head, since I read it in junior high, in Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers.

In all of Heinlein's stories, there's at least one character who is based on the author. Who rather serves as a puppet, to insert the author's words into the story. (He's also said that, in every story, there's at least one woman who is at least partially based on his wife, Virginia).

Starship Troopers is basically a "teenage kid joins the Army and becomes a man" story. A lot of the story involves flashbacks to a high school class on Ethics and Moral Philosophy, in which the instructor is Heinlein.

In one of these scenes, the instructor is observing that in our universe, all forces always exist in the form on equal, opposite, forces.

Two magnets will always attract or repel each other with identical (opposing direction) forces. Two electrically charged objects will always attract or repel each other with identical, opposing, forces.

Right now, each of us is being attracted towards the center of the Earth, with a force of (insert number) pounds. And, each of us is exerting an identical gravitational pull, on the earth. (The Earth just doesn't react much, to your gravitational pull, cause the Earth is kinda bigger than you are).

So, (the instructor asks), what is the opposing force, to power? (For example, political power).

The answer, according to the story, is responsibility.

The instructor points out that trying to hold someone responsible for something he had no power over is insane. And that giving someone power, without responsibility, is probably worse.

He asserts that any attempt to create a system in which power and responsibility are not always equal, is as doomed to failure as an attempt to design a machine that violates conservation of energy. That "power and responsibility are always equal" is not just an ideal philosophical principal, but is actually a universal law.

Now, having stated that universal law?

Our society gives parents a HELL of a lot of power, over their kids. They can pick their religion. They can teach them racial hatred. They can teach them that Jesus rode a dinosaur.

So, I'm not ENTIRELY opposed to the notion of holding a parent responsible for their kid's actions.

----------

The instructor observed that not one student had ever quoted Heinlein, in his class, before.

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Many good thoughts posted here for and against it.

 

One more thing to consider...how does this get enforced? Our judicial system is already backlogged. Is the purpose of this law deterrent based? I assume so. However, we have speed limits and they get broken all the time. We fine parents when their children have too many absences and tardies from school. There are still absence and tardy problems all the time. Many of those fines do not get paid. 

 

My initial thought on the law is to say it's well intentioned, but bad in practice. The government should not be in the business of parenting. However, as a teacher and coach myself, I see a potential need for it haha.

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