Tag Archives: bullies

Wisconsin bullying ordinances gain international attention

Anti-bullying ordinances adopted by several Wisconsin communities are generating global buzz. The ordinances fine parents whose children repeatedly bully classmates.

Since enacting such laws, police chiefs in Shawano, Plover and Monona have fielded calls from news organizations from other states, as well as Canada and Australia. They’ve also received thank-you emails from victims who still struggle with the effects of bullying.

The latest town in the state to pass an ordinance holding parents of bullies accountable is Shawano, a town of 9,300 people about 40 miles northwest of Green Bay. Under a measure passed in May, parents of bullies could be fined $366 for the first offense and $681 for the second offense in a year.

The Plover Village Board approved an anti-bullying ordinance last November. That ordinance gives police the ability to notify parents in writing if their child is caught bullying and to ticket the parents if their child is caught bullying again within 90 days

In May 2013, the Monona City Council was the first to pass such a law. City officials told the Wisconsin State Journal at the time that no specific incident led to the decision. Instead, it was the refusal of parents to hold their children accountable, or even to believe that their kids could be guilty.

“Sometimes you’ll knock on someone’s door and they won’t want to talk to you — their kids are perfect, they could never do anything wrong,” Monona Police Chief Wally Ostrenga tol the Journal. “This is for those times when we get the door slammed in our faces.”

In Monona, parents have to pay a $144 fine for a first violation. If parents have subsequent violations in the same year, they’re fined $177 for each additional one.

Plover’s police chief says he would love to see other cities in the state and country adopt similar ordinances.

Teens get ‘OK4U2BGay’ T-shirts for pro-gay videos

The developers of H8SUX.com are offering free OK4U2BGAY T-shirts to teens who speak out against homophobia in YouTube videos.

A news release said H8SUX took inspiration from Fox’s “Glee” for the gay rightsl campaign aimed at “ballot box bullies” in Minnesota and North Carolina, anti-gay lawmakers in Utah and Tennessee and Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum.

“We are recruiting kids to the cause of promoting the acceptance of homosexuality in schools,” said H8Sux’s Luke Montgomery. “In 2012, kids should not be bullied and attacked just for being who they are. This free T-shirt will be a pro-gay billboard plastered on the chests of thousands of kids in classrooms across the nation. Our agenda is simple: to tell kids that it’s “OK4U2BGAY.”

Montgomery said H8SUX also is appealing to adults to join the cause.

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New York teen bullied even in death

The bullies who hounded 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer in to suicide in western New York continued the harassment even after his death.

The target of the continued bullying was Rodemeyer’s 16-year-old sister. She was hounded with chants of “better off dead” at a school dance just hours after she attended a wake for her younger brother on Sept. 22. The chants began when dance organizers played a song in Rodemeyer’s honor by his favorite singer, Lady Gaga, who has memorialized him in her anti-bullying comments.

“It sickens me,” their father said.

“Your mind just spins at 100 miles per hour. How can someone do that? I don’t understand how someone could be so cruel,” the teen’s mother Tracy Rodemeyer said. “Everybody has a story about bullying but never, never have I ever seen it where somebody would be happy that someone is dead from their actions.”

School superintendent Scott Martzloff posted a message on the district’s website condemning the dance incident and saying a student believed to be responsible was suspended.

Police are continuing to investigate whether criminal charges should be brought against some of the teens accused of harassing the high school freshman.

Jamey Rodemeyer first talked to his mother about being gay about a year ago. In May, he contributed an online video to the “It Gets Better” program, which offers encouragement to victims of bullying.

Tracy Rodemeyer said her son was teased from grade school and into high school, where kids regularly hurled taunts of “fag” and “girly girl” hurled at him.

School guidance counselors and social workers met with Rodemeyer over the years but none tried to help him, according to his father. One counselor’s advice was simply to stop spending time with girls, he said.