Does Wausau need an anti-bully law? - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Does Wausau need an anti-bully law?

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

Bullying isn't something you normally see a city council talking about. But in Monona -- it is.

Last month, the council passed a law that would slap a fine on parents if their kids are caught bullying.

An effective approach? Leaders in Wausau say perhaps.

"Not everything happens at school," said Keene Winters, Wausau City Council. "Some things happen, for example, at the city pool, and so how do we deal with bullying when it happens at the city pool?"

Winters says the city already holds parents accountable for their children.

"We already have some precedent on the books," said Winters. "We have a social host ordinance in Wausau that makes parents responsible if there is liquor served at a party at the house"

Winters says if the council passed a law, like the one in Monona, he'd like it to go beyond just bullying.

"Bullying could be one, but certainly vandalism would be another, cruelty to animals," said Winters.

Wausau School District leaders wouldn't say whether they'd support such a law. They say they focus on prevention.

"We're trying to teach kids what the right behaviors are," said Jeff Lindell, Director of Pupil Services. "We want to teach kids what it looks like to behave appropriately in the lunch room, or in the classroom, or on the playground, or whatever situation they find themselves in."

But they say enforcement is everyone's responsibility.

"We have a strong belief of being a community wide approach to educating our kids," said Lindell. "Now is creating an ordinance like this the answer. I don't know that it's the answer."

District officials say in some cases police are called to schools to stop bullying.

Both sides say currently no plan is in the works in Wausau for an anti-bully law.

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