Parents Fined for Bullying Children in Western NY City

WHITE HAVEN -- A new law in a western New York community could send parents to jail if their children are found bullying others, and it is getting a lot of attention.

A woman from North Tonawanda, New York witnessed her son get bullied. She watched him get punched in the face by a classmate. She created a Facebook page that became the first step in getting the law passed for her city, and on October 1, it went into effect.

"Making them accountable will make it so they're not, 'Well, it's not my child.' Yes, it is your child. So now, you either have to do something about it or face a consequence," Jennifer Evans, a mother of three and resident of White Haven said.

The law says that parents could be fined $250 and/or sentenced to 15 days in jail.

"15 days? To me that's a bit surprising," Evans said.

"I'm not really sure how I feel about it. One of the biggest things is we are taking accountability away from the kids. If the kid is going to bully someone, the kid should be accountable for his actions," said White Haven Chief of Police Thomas Szoke.

Evans wonders if a law like that would work in a community like White Haven. All three of her children are cyber-schooled.

"They don't go to school and have those social issues, like the kids who go to public schools. We removed our kids from that so they could just learn and be educated," she said.

The website StopBullying.gov says that 30 percent of students are bullied in grades 6-12, and it is most common in middle schools. Parents in White Haven say it is not just a problem in big cities, but small towns too.

"We need to make sure the penalties are there so that the kid knows not to punch the other kid in the face. We need to enforce the law that we have," Chief Szoke said.

The attorney for that city in western New York says the purpose of the law is to engage parents in the process and try to work on a solution. Evans likes the idea because bullying is one of the reasons her kids are cyber-schooled.

"I think making them more aware that it's happening and letting them self-reflect on their family life and what could possibly be causing their child to bully will only bake a stronger bond with those children and their parents," Evans said.

According to that new law, parents could face the fine and/or jail time if their child violates the city's curfew or breaks any other city law, including bullying, twice in the course of 90 days.

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41 comments

    • E

      Ha ha ha ha ha! No they certainly will not have a tough time later in life ha ha ha! It’s stereotype Irish Catholic drunks like YOU that have a hard time later in life because you act like stereotype Irish trash, meaning you behave in an aggressive manor while making your daddy/control issues obvious to everyone, then you blame your white trash behavior on past abuses. Boo hoo my daddy beat me, boo hoo I’m not responsible for anything I say or do, boo hoo the Irish are oppressed in this country. Ha ha ha! No this kid will get a quality education and move to a decent area without any NEPA Irish trash or white trash of any kind. Now why don’t you go down to your favorite shi*hole corner bar so all the other deadbeat dad drunks can make you feel better about being stuck in an Irish ghetto, which is where you belong. Ha ha ha!

      • E

        @robert duhhh your parents should be fined duhhh. Ha ha ha what else do you have trailer trash ha ha ha! Thank you for making it known that my laughter is getting to you, I really enjoy when stupid poor people out themselves. Ha ha ha!

    • CeeMe

      How do you know? Lots of cyber-schooled kids, go on to do good things. Lots of kids in regular schools, still can’t cope with certain things and don’t accomplish much. Stop generalizing about people you don’t know.

  • Think Positive

    It’s good that the system is finally acknowledging the part that the parent plays in the life of the “Bully”. A fine is a really good idea. But hopefully there’s also a “look” into what’s going on inside the home, where the Bully is being raised.

      • E

        Ha ha ha! Extra wimpy? Oh you mean like an entire region of half pint, mouthy, damaged white trash who have to group together because they are so pathetic and weak that they can’t even stand on their own, like NEPA. Ha ha ha! Extra wimpy as in people who are so weak they blame their white trash behavior on their abusive, alcoholic, ex military daddy. Ha ha ha ha! Extra wimpy as in people so weak that they accuse others of being weak because they won’t stoop to your white trash level. Ha ha ha! That is what amuses me the most about you Lloyd, you lack the education to even realize that you’re stupid trash. Ha ha ha! Llyod if you are so smart why are you poor and living in a white trash slum? Ha ha ha ha!

      • E

        @robert No super genius I’m not retarded, but you clearly are just that. Typing ha ha represents laughter, find a dictionary and look up the word gloating. All should become clear. Is that all you’ve got robert? Really? Ha ha ha! Why not make some intelligent counter points to defend your slum? So my use of laughter is all you’ve got? Pathetic and predictable ha ha ha! Hey Robert duhh are you retarded duhh ha ha ha!

      • Robert

        @E Ha ha ha Your mix of innuendo, sarcasm and the presumptive nature of your replies are what peeked my curiosity.

      • E

        @robert. You are a moron ha ha ha! Look up innuendo in a dictionary you stupid piece of trash. Also it’s PEAKED not peeked. HA ha ha ha! You can’t even properly use the English language and yet you try to sound clever ha ha ha! Did your father beat you so severly he diminished what little intelligence you had? Ha ha ha!

  • Lord Chesterfield

    The example in the article references punching in the face? Where did this exactly occur outside the classroom after hours? The article is not very specific. Chances are any altercation between children in a community will be between classmates. Is this the school expanding on its ability to legislate out of school behavior? Chief Szoke referenced penalties that need to be there. I’m sure there exists somewhere in the NY crime code some penalty for punching another in the face. I’m having problems digesting the article without fear of loosing lunch. This stinks of vomit.
    The unfortunate conclusion is our society has become so dependent on legislative authority that the freedom our forefathers sacrificed their lives for has been thoughtlessly squandered.

  • Givemeabreak

    This is simple. You tell your child we don’t start fights but we finish them. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose but you have to stand your ground and make the bully remember who he tangled with.

    • Think Positive

      Fighting back is only necessary where there’s a bully. That’s the whole idea behind the new policy, to attempt to stop bullying so there’s no need to have to fight back. But, I’m all for kids knowing how to fight back and defend themselves when necessary. Everybody should know self-defense. I think it should be taught in schools, in gym class.

  • Robert

    Your right, bullying is horrible. I’m sick and tired of one school district bullying another Friday nights at a scheduled time. They even have pep rallies to encourage this despicable tradition! I say we get this started by at least fining or jailing the parents of any sports player that receives a penalty on the playing field. Unsportsmanlike conduct should be made a felony! Lets not go part way on the people, lets continue right to absurd. You snowflakes are good at that so I’m sure you will agree. Oh, and lets fine or jail the parents of children that don’t pass ENGLISH class too!

      • Givemeabreak

        So now all football players are bullies? Come on man. Sounds like someone had a bad experience with a football player and never got over it. You should have stood up to him.

  • ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Bullying is aweful. Children have committed suicide over it. Fining parents and jail time for them is utterly ridiculous. The child that is bullying needs to be accountable. What is fining the parent or throwing them in jail teaching the kid? It’s just giving them the green light to keep doing it because they’re not being made accountable for their actions. Community service or something like that.

    • El Ma

      I was in school during a time when students were forced to spend their Saturdays performing some kind of service to the community, or the school. One group was required to spend their entire Saturday cleaning the cafeteria. That included the steam tables, the walk-ins……..everything. Those people NEVER forgot why they were there, or what they needed to do to avoid being there.

      There have been, and always will be, bullies and I don’t like it, one bit, but I actually learned how to defend myself when I was a kid. I don’t agree with bullying, one iota. But it is part of the Human Condition, and this idea is absurd on every level.

      • CeeMe

        Well, they don’t make them clean the school or steam tables. They sit in a room. Bullying isn’t the human condition. It is the condition of bullies and other worthless scum.

      • El Ma

        CEEME, I wish that this were something cureable, I really do.

        If we observe nature and pack / herd behaviors, there are always individuals that are at the bottom of the pecking order. I absolutely do not promote, support, or defend bully mentalities – I was beaten up, picked on, and singled out when I was in grade school, and it was dreadful. But, I also learned how to talk my way out of a lot of bad situations and to stand up for myself.

        This idea isn’t sound. Making the BULLY responsible for their actions is the only thing that makes sense. By forcing them to engage in some sort of punitive activity, their time is spent doing something unpleasant that they won’t soon forget. If this approach had been implemented long ago, it could possibly be that some of these 18-35 year old narcissistic creeps might have learned that there are consequences for making really bad choices. That’s all I’m suggesting.

  • El Ma

    Oh, my GAWD……….we’re already having to deal with 2 generations of self-absorbed, labeled, obese, snowflakes as it is! Bullying is ugly, it sure is, but it also teaches lessons in coping. I don’t “like” bullying, by any stretch of the imagination, but this kind of thing is an attempt to enforce something that’s so esoteric that it cannot always be attributed to bad parenting.

    How are children going to learn how to deal with disappointments, unpleasantness, and the realities of Real Life if they’re kept in this false environment of insulation and protection?! The world is harsh. Life is harsh. And, people have been dealing with this aspect of the Human Condition since mankind stood upright. And, we honestly believe that we can erase this predisposition by making it an offense against the parents?

    The things that parents CAN do to help teach their children how to function in the Real World are very, very simple. They take away computer access. They take away cell phones. They monitor what their children are doing. And, they STOP trying to be their kids’ BFF’s.

    I agree with WHATEVER831. Have bullies do community service. INTENSE community service. On weekends. From 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. with a break for lunch. WORK IT OUT OF THEM. Criminy crissssssmasssssss

    • Writer Girl

      Oh, please! Bullying is disgusting and has no place in education. If it teaches “coping” why do some kids commit suicide? Because they learned to cope so well? What good is community service? A few weekends doing something they don’t want to do? How will that enforce the severity of bullying? It’s about time bullying is seen as the harassment it is and the long-lasting consequences it has. Good for this mom and for NY. I hope this is picked up by more states. That includes colleges. And no one is saying the parents are bad parents, but they are responsible for their minor children and if the children don’t care that their parents are fined and/or go to jail, well, that should tell you something about them and how they were raised.

      • Lloyd Schmucatelli

        You’re way off base, as usual.

        Your attempt at philosophy makes as much sense as Archie’s typical rhetoric.

      • Robert

        Those in favor of fines or jail have not thought this threw at all have you. Who is going to charge the student or the parent? A teacher? Principle? Dedicated administrator? The police after a thorough investigation? There are going to be a lot of teachers absent from school being paid as they will be busy in court. No parent is going to accept this, and the hearings are free. You can fight a parking ticket if you like, this would be no different. I would organize a bullying day just to overwhelm the court system to demonstrate the stupidity of this. What about the administrator or teacher’s child that attends the school. They would be empowered to bully at will! This will take neighborhood feuds to new levels. Don’t forget school emails to the teachers, ” You know we are a little short on the budget folks, so fine, fine, fine!”. Na, that would never happen.

      • E

        @natural selection. Ha ha ha ha ha! It’s you’re not your! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! You accused someone of being retarded while outing yourself! Ha ha ha ha ha! Why do the people in NEPA blindly accuse others of their offenses? Ha ha ha ha!

    • Lloyd Schmucatelli

      El Ma, have you read Glenn Beck’s Agenda 21 book? I’m not a huge fan of Glenn and think he hangs out there on the fringe, but that book is excellent regarding this type of nonsense. Worth a once through.

  • whatever831

    That is the most ridiculous idea I have EVER heard of! First of all, I agree with the chief, how does that teach the child anything? There has GOT to be something better than the parent paying a fine and going to jail. How about a community service program for the child involved? Like cleaning up garbage or vonlunteer work. No we’re going to send the parents to jail? How utterly ridiculous. Who in their right mind comes up with this idiot crap? WHO?

      • More than one way to look at a situation

        i agree, the parents have the 1st and foremost control over the child. They tend to learn bully at home. The parents are only fined and/or sentenced to jail if there has been 2 violations within 90 days. If the parents cannot control the problem after the 1st violation – there is a big problem. If a child is not listening to their parents or respecting their parents – then the parents need to step up their game and correct the situation. Fines and jail is a form of strategy to push the parents to take control of their kids.

      • Anonymous

        I can see more kids getting hit, if the parents see the consequences – imagine…a kid is mad at his parents, so he goes and punches another kid to get the parents fined and/or sent to jail.

      • El Ma

        ANONYMOUS, you’ve raised a very valid point. Children do not have the emotional maturity or wisdom to understand the consequences of their actions. They only know what to do to get what they want. Whether it’s pouting or throwing a tantrum for the newest iPhone, or “getting even” with their parents by calling CPS, they don’t “get it” about the long term ramifications of their actions.

        Requiring children to clean up a park, wash the school bathrooms, sweep the gymnasium, or help feed the homeless at a shelter, THESE are the things that they’ll remember. As soon as CPS became involved in every aspect of a child’s life and parents were basically on notice that they’d better NEVER discipline their children and make them “feel bad,” the world went down the tubes in one quick hurry. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ