“Tremendous support:” Racine Common Council takes up ordinance that would fine parents of bullies

Bullying

RACINE -- The Racine Common Council on Wednesday night, December 20th was set to take up an ordinance that would hold the parents of bullies accountable if they don't stop the bad behavior.

"We've had tremendous, tremendous support," Alderwoman Tracey Larrin said. "Hopefully it opens up the conversation of bullying and parents will start being aware of 1) if their child's being a bully and 2)if their child's being bullied."

Larrin is behind the ordinance.

"There is a lot involved," Larrin said.

After bullying is reported, online or in person, the child and parent would meet with a police officer to develop a plan of action. After 90 days, if the child chooses to bully again, the parent would face consequences determined by the municipal court, which could include a fine of up to $100.

The ordinance is separate from Racine Unified School District policy.

Racine Unified School District

Alderwoman Tracey Larrin

"If you get caught bullying, you might get in-school suspension or maybe community service depending on the age of the child," Larrin said.

Bullying is a big problem in SE Wisconsin and across the country. In November, a middle school student in Glendale took his own life, and his father said it was due to bullying.

"There was an 11-year-old. There's been a 14-year-old. There's been an 8-year-old committing suicide over this. Communication can help stop all that," Larrin said.

Racine Common Council

Larrin said it's about better addressing the problem, and holding everyone accountable.

Bullying

While RUSD has an anti-bullying policy, the city did not, and this would fill that gap.

The council on Wednesday night moved to defer the measure, which will now go before the council on January 17th.