(Beaver Dam) The superintendent of the Beaver Dam School District fully supports the bullying ordinance that was recently adopted by the city council. The ordinance is intended to make parents liable for the actions of their children for incidents that occur not only on school grounds, but also away from school or even online.
Superintendent Mark DiStefano says the idea that parents should be responsible for their child’s behavior is something that is rooted in the foundations of this country. DiStefano says children are our most valuable resources and when they make poor choices that is part of growing up; part of being a parent, he says, is being accountable.
DiStefano notes that in many other situations, parents are liable for the actions of their kids, like for instance vandalism where parents would have to pay restitution on behalf of their children for any damage. When you’re talking about bullying, he says, you are talking about damaging the spirit, mind and heart of another child.
“I absolutely feel as a parent that I should be part of the equation in raising my child,” DiStefano says, “and hold them accountable so that they can be the best citizen and human being they can.”
He says the ordinance is “very rational,” providing a healthy timeline to address behaviors.
The ordinance affords parents up to 90 days to get the child’s behavior under control. The penalties will be determined by the municipal court judge and could be monetary.