This article originally appeared and was published on AOL.com
A fine line distinguishes what’s considered as playful poking fun at someone versus teasing with malicious intentions.
The latter, of course, can have serious, long-term repercussions for the victim, and unfortunately follow him or her into his or her adult life.
Other than school systems consciously educating students and parents teaching their children what is and isn’t acceptable behavior when it comes to interacting with peers, it’s impossible to proactively limit the number of bullying incidents that occur.
That’s why the Shawano Police Department of Shawano, Wisconsin, are doing something that’s never been done before when it comes to mandating punishments for bullying in schools – and we’re talking concrete punishments, in the form of a fine.
Shawano city council passed an anti-bullying ordinance which will give parents 90 days to address their child’s behavior if they are found to have been involved as a perpetrator in a bullying incident.
Here’s where things escalate – if the child is still found to be bullying others after the 90 days, the parent will be fined $366.
Yes, you read that correctly – if your child is harassing others by the monkey bars, you could end up (literally) paying for it.
Though the concept of what constitutes bullying is rather subjective, Chief Mark Kohl of the Shawano Police Department made it clear to WLUK that this law doesn’t just apply to simple name-calling:
“This isn’t generated towards the kids being kids, some playground banter. This is the person that is meticulously using social media or saying things that are vulgar in an attempt to hurt, discredit, and really demean a person.”
Thankfully, Shawano police have yet to act upon the new ordinance.
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