Newly Passed Law Will Jail Parents if Their Kids are Caught Bullying

By Matt Agorist

North Tonawanda, NY — As Americans continue to become more and more dependent upon the State to manage their daily lives, a new law that was just approved in New York epitomizes this irresponsible and outright complacent practice.

On Oct 1, a new law went into effect that will jail parents if their child is found bullying other minors. 

According to WBNG:

Members of the North Tonawanda Common Council hope the new law will put a stop to bullying by holding parents accountable for their children’s actions. Parents could be fined $250 and sentenced to 15 days in jail if twice in a 90-day period their child under 18 violates the city’s curfew or any other city law, including bullying.

North Tonawanda officials say the law is geared toward minors who repeatedly bully other children in public places.

This law comes after four teens were reportedly kicked out of North Tonawanda Middle School for alleged bullying.

On the surface, the idea of fining and jailing parents for their bully kids may seem like an effective strategy to curtail bullying. However, all it does is open Pandora’s box into horrid nature of the police state and it provides no real solution.

We’ve already seen what happens when police get involved in matters that should not involve them, like childhood quarrels on playgrounds.

Just last week, TFTP reported on a horrifying video that showed a police officer pick up a tiny black child and slam him down face-first onto the concrete for being involved in a scuffle with another student. The presence of police in that situation only made it more dangerous.

Now, with the enactment of this new law, the parents of both of those students in the video mentioned above could also face potentially brutal police action.

Yes, parents are ultimately responsible for the behavior of their younger children. However, politicizing and criminalizing normal, yet often cruel, childhood behavior is not the answer. Also, there is simply no data to support its effectiveness.

We can have all the laws we want holding parents responsible for their children’s actions, writes Anita Kulick from ecparenting.org, but do they really make a difference?

“Very little research has been done to determine the effectiveness of laws that hold parents criminally liable”, says Eve Brank, an associate professor of law and psychology at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.  “It’s often just a way for politicians to look hard on juvenile delinquency,” she says.

Often times, fining the parents of a bully could make the situation worse. Bullies, as multiple studies have shown, often have abusive parents who would probably not be too happy if their child happened to get them fined or thrown in prison.

Also, this law assumes that the bully will be correctly identified in the situation. Studies on the subject tell us that the opposite will often happen. School staff often have no idea that a child is being bullied. The same goes for the parents.

It is also important to note that many times, what parents and officials refer to as bullying is not at all seen as bullying by the child.

The real issue, Danah Boyd, who actually studies social interactions online among young people, suggests, is not that “bullying,” is a problem. It’s a lack of empathy. And, of course, that goes way beyond kids. As she notes, “just ask any marital therapist who’s trying to help a couple work through their relationship.” From there, as Tech Dirt notes, she points out that these interactions really aren’t all that different from adult interactions:

When I look at how teens hurt each other, I can’t help but also see how they’re developing training wheels for future relationships and reflecting normative behaviors that they see around them. I hear teens’ dramas reflected in their stories about how their parents fight — with each other, with their friends and family and colleagues, and with them. What teens are doing is more coarse, more direct, and more explicit. But they’re witnessing adult dramas all around them and what they tend to see isn’t pretty. Parents talking smack about work colleagues or bosses. Parents fighting with each other or ostracizing their family members over disagreements.

While Boyd admits that she doesn’t have the perfect solution to preventing future bullying, looking at the situation through a different lens that isn’t so black and white is a much better start.

All this law does is use the State’s only tools to attempt to solve a problem — revenue collection backed with the threat of violence — ironically, they’re employing one of the tools of bullies.

Instead of simply making something illegal and claiming that it fixes the problem, perhaps it’s time we apply common sense to these scenarios and make it part of everyday life. Instead of teaching children how to be victims and call the police if they think they are being bullied, perhaps — with the right training wheels — we can teach them how to avoid being bullied altogether. Or, we can focus on teaching children empathy, so a bully thinks how they may feel before resorting to their abusive tactics.

As Mike Masnick writes:

There’s a great quote, apparently by Ian Percy that “we judge others by their behavior, while we judge ourselves by our intentions.” It’s really accurate, and highlights the difficulty of having empathy in such situations. People never think that they are in the wrong — and since they can’t readily understand or know the thought process and intentions of others, it often leads to them thinking the worst. If there were better ways to get people to at least recognize that others might also have good intentions, it could at least limit the negative impact of some interactions. Such fights and misunderstandings will never go away. It’s probably wishful thinking to even imagine they can be decreased even slightly. But calling them “cyberbullying” and outlawing jerky behavior or doing silly costumed song-and-dances isn’t going to help matters at all.

Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. Agorist is also the Editor at Large at the Free Thought Project, where this article first appearedFollow @MattAgorist on Twitter, Steemit, and now on Facebook.


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30 Comments on "Newly Passed Law Will Jail Parents if Their Kids are Caught Bullying"

  1. ” … it’s time we apply common sense to these scenarios and make it part of everyday life.”

    See: [ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119654/quotes?item=qt0997317 ] My implication being people as individuals might be smart, might have common sense. People categorically en masse are stupid. Stupidity is a disease without cure. Stupid is a choice. It is realizing you don’t know something but instead of learning it, you choose not learning it. I can admit a healthy share of ignorance, which is not knowing something, but then if I find it germane to what’s going I learn it. You can lead horses to water all you want, there’s no making them drink until they choose.

    ” … we can focus on teaching children empathy, so a bully thinks how they may feel before resorting to their abusive tactics.”

    I agree to that. We could instill the Golden Rule in all folks. How best to teach it? You best teach what you lack. We’re currently in an era where leadership, accountability, empathy are found lacking. Excellent leaders do not need to lead, their people see what the leader does and emulate the leader’s example, then when the people rally to celebrate the leader the leader says it was all the people who did anything. I do not foresee us having even a halfway good leader anytime soon. I may be proven in error, yet I’ve my doubts.

    “All this law does is use the State’s only tools to attempt to solve a problem — revenue collection backed with the threat of violence — ironically, they’re employing one of the tools of bullies.”

    Yep. There you are, no matter where you go. I think it is time someone raise the standards. Unfortunately, we’re told no heroes will rise to the occasion. We’re left to be our own heroes, or if we start doing it well enough we get made scapegoats and martyrs. Damned if we do, damned if we don’t. No matter where you go, there you are.

  2. Fucktard yanks cannot even do parenting well… doped up on drugs and mind fu……d by your pathetic media.

  3. I commented earlier. The comment used the d word only twice in a socially acceptable phrase. The comment was not exactly controversial, at least not from my perspective. I see how comments are being handled now. Excuse me from withdrawing from commentary, speculation. It is clear this site censors. That to me is quite sad yet it is not _my_ site. I’ll watch as the site loses readership because that is bound to occur. Thank you, have a good one.

    If it is Disqus doing the censoring, no matter, the site chooses to continue using that as means of commenting. It still reflects on the site itself.

    • I don’t know what the D word is, but try spelling it oddly. We’ll figure it out.

      • It was the word [email protected] in the expression [email protected] if you d!mned if you don’t. My comment was quite articulate. I quoted no more than two sentences from the article and wrote in retort to them.

        • Got it. I write it as dam, like what holds back a river.

          • … Well, self censorship is still censorship. Why ought to feel I need to censor myself in what I post here, even over a mere letter?

            My thinking is I don’t need to do that, which then leads to “well, you know I really don’t need to bother being at the site, at all.” I figure I’m not alone in such thinking. Censorship is censorship, weather initiated by someone else, or by yourself as sentiment that implies one has to censor one’s self.

            Gee, so real activistism here, huh? Some real standing up for human liberty, rights, dignity on an activist site which causes readers to feel a need to censor. It is wholly counter to what it alleges. Of course, I suppose being a limited hangout what are we readers to expect?

  4. My guess is there will be very, very few Asian parents locked up. Just saying.

    • agree, very much. Just wonder, is a language with the most letters and complications, but with the nearest capability of describing outer word, the least non-violent?? Isn’t the language itself the FRUSTRATION of many??
      Btw. how many hours children spend in schools, influencing each other?? Last but not least, how many children own IPHONES, capable of mind control, and thus driving the word ‘expression’ of everyone? Maybe one should consider to lock up those who ‘make’ these laws, every single one, with specific purspose.

    • agree, very much. Just wonder, is a language with the most letters and complications, but with the nearest capability of describing outer word, the least non-violent?? Isn’t the language itself the FRUSTRATION of many??
      Btw. how many hours children spend in schools, influencing each other?? Last but not least, how many children own IPHONES, capable of mind control, and thus driving the word ‘expression’ of everyone? Maybe one should consider to lock up those who ‘make’ these laws, every single one, with specific purpose.

    • agree, very much. Just wonder, is a language with the most letters and complications, but with the nearest capability of describing outer word, the least non-violent?? Isn’t the language itself the FRUSTRATION of many??
      Btw. how many hours children spend in schools, influencing each other?? Last but not least, how many children own IPHONES, capable of mind control, and thus driving the word ‘expression’ of everyone? Maybe one should consider to lock up those who ‘make’ these laws, every single one, with specific purpose.
      And yes, EVERY SINGLE computer based ‘platform’ of human exchange is HACKED,including disqus. How disgusting!!!

  5. Rumplestiltskin | October 10, 2017 at 9:45 am | Reply

    Obviously, parents whose children are bullies were already ineffectual, what make those law makers believe that putting them in jail will wake them up. I will more than likely cause resentment and they may also become bullies because they no longer like the state.

    Stop-gap idiocy does nothing to wake up Americans who have their heads stuck in their lower orifice. American must stop asking the state to solve all their problems, because every time the state gets involved in our lives, it manages to screw up the very thing it was tasked with fixing.

    You must remember that Knee Jerk responses to problems rarely fix the problem. You must also know that our politicians are not always the sharpest tacks in the box !!!

  6. Tonawanda? Is that some female ‘urban youth’ name?

  7. We treat others by how we are treated. Most kids I believe grow up in a nice, loving parents that taught them what is right and wrong and how to be polite, respectful . I recall a few days observing kids in an inner city middle school and we were stunned at how some of the kids were violent and how many had the biggest, baddest wins mentality that you see in the prisons! They learned this at home no less, and it was acceptable to behave this way It was clear that some of the parents are not equipped to play the role of a parent and are in dire need to attend a parenting classes, at the same time perhaps take a deep look at affordability in terms of financial responsibility of having children It seems that the state has to step in and evaluate these sorts of scenarios Those kids we saw in those classes need class on basic civility politeness, respect for other and self respect, the difference between right and wrong and basic understanding of the human order. The time has come for schools to add this to curriculum teach children these basic things, that most kids we assume are learning at home . At my friends private european languages school the teachers thanked the parents for doing such a great job on teaching their kids how to be polite and respectful because it made their jobs so much easier and more efficient.

  8. As a child I was subjected to a great deal of playground bullying. Thinking back I think the authorities would have to build a new prison if they jailed all of the parents of those who bullied me.

    • ….That aberrant behavior was/is secretly instigated by the sociopathic rigidity of the intentionally introduced draconian Prussian School System (end of 19th-beginning of 20th century) of -Conditioned-Control-‘ ie: Pavlovian Bells / Skinner Box programming…machinating the ‘little people’ to be conditioned to sit & squirm all jacked-up on sugar for 8hrs a day… with ‘recess breaks to be good little > adult workers…..in essence creating an environment where this brutality is allowed to exist as a school of ‘hard knocks’ to ‘toughen-up children'[sic]…& absolutely creating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder on a not so subtle mass scale with evidenced ‘hypervigilance’ among those adversely affected; coupled with classic symptomatic subliminal psychological ‘disassociation’ incurred within the children’s psyches from the deviously surreptitious & insidiously condoned inflicted trauma….& NO! …You don’t just get over it!….without some serious counselling.
      ….. You were/are being ‘insulted’ & disrespected without a sovereign safety-net recourse from the ‘Bully Boys’ because your elders (teachers et al/ preconditioned parents) turned their backs on the most vulnerable…Kinda sounds exactly like right now!

  9. Alleged-Comment | October 10, 2017 at 4:10 pm | Reply

    IF you don’t start being more responsible parents this is what happens.

    • That is quite a succinct version of my commentary although I expounded upon societal issues as was germane. Thank you for offering at least this much here. I ought to saved the comment off to text. Did not as I figured it would pass moderation with ease. I write very balanced as to avoid conflict, to communicate well.

    • L. A. McDonough | October 10, 2017 at 8:04 pm | Reply

      Parents need to home school or find a solid Christian school. Online classes are free. Gov. schools are promoting leftist ideas and immorality.

  10. No, here is what will happen: When the bullied finally become empowered to defend themselves, the establishment will punish THEIR parents. We cannot have empowered people. It is what the school system does! As soon as the bulled put a stop to the bullying (because they will not), they punish them. I held my son back for 2 years while the system said that he should not defend himself. It didn’t work. The bullying got worse and worse. After a year of Taekwondo and 3 years of bullying, I warned my son: Don’t break any bones but, please, beat the shit out of them! He did. They then totally left him alone. He was sort of a hero in his class. He’d catch a bully in the act and put him on his knees. The school called several times. How did I react? “Piss Off! You guys won’t do anything so my son is doing your job. Get a clue!” Shocked, they only put him in detention once. He put all the bullies on notice. I told him if the teachers ever challenged him when he was doing the right thing he was to give them my cell number and an ultimatum: “This is my dad. He won’t deal with your crap. Either call or be called, you choose.” So, with this law, they can take kids like my son, call them a bully and threaten me. Good luck with that. Like my son, I don’t respond appropriately to intimidation. The authorities can Piss Off too. THEY are the bullies. People that fight bullies are practicing to fight government. Government sees that as dangerous so they are surreptitiously making a law, not to stop bullying, but to stop those who stop bullying. Wake up America! You government hates you when you’re not a powerless victim.

  11. Alice On Morphine | October 10, 2017 at 5:31 pm | Reply

    don’t have kids in America.

    • L. A. McDonough | October 10, 2017 at 8:02 pm | Reply

      I urged other couples in the 70’s and beyond not to bring kids into the world. I have studied globalist agendas for over forty years. America’s future is zero. Gov. is corrupt to the core, deceitful and congressmen are bribed by corporations/bankers to vote for leftist agendas. Voting is useless.

  12. In the 1950’s and the 1960’s parents taught children to stand up to the bullies at school. Children were taught that they better not start anything at school with another student. But, if another student started something with them they had better finish it.

    This grew children into adults who could take care of themselves as a most part.

    There are other places to live besides North Tonawanda, New York.

    Why would any freedom loving American continue to live in such a place?

    Has the adult citizen population of North Tonawanda, New York, gone insane to allow such a law to remain on the books?

    North Tonawanda, NY, officials are not gods. They can be replaced.

    Better to replace the North Tonawanda, NY, officials than to be put into jail for something or even a crime you did not commit.

    Sounds like the North Tonawanda, NY, officials are just begging for a civil rights lawsuit to be filed against them and North Tonawanda, NY.

  13. How about passing a law that the people in government that make the laws… go directly to jail if they violate our rights ….such as ‘Bullying the Public’ …ie: Mandatory Vaccines …Illegal Search & Seizure/Confiscation of $$$ …Unlawful Arrest…Assault….Conspiracy to Defraud the Public ….etc etc?

  14. This is telling me the gov. wants to enslave the people and have total control of our thinking and how they are going to be in total control of our lives. People you better wake up to who wants to control you—- The lib/dems or the conservatives. Well its not the conservatives and it never has been.!! Think back .

  15. Sheri Whispers | October 10, 2017 at 10:50 pm | Reply

    Their ideology is flawed. The Government created the problem. Just take a look at the colleges an the nut jobs that complained they are being bullied by a hat or statue
    An then re watch footage of them in Berkley ….Someone needs to take these law makers to court

  16. STAY OUT OF OUR LIVES

  17. So children cannot bully, but the State can?

  18. Way back in the Reagan era, there were efforts (both federal and state) to punish parents of drug-dealing children by evicting them from subsidized housing. Their lazy, overweight, unmarried welfare mammas would simply say, “I can’t control him! What do you expect me to do? I’M not dealing drugs, you can’t take it out on me!” and in this way the kids had complete immunity. They were too little to go to jail, and too big for a single mother to control.

    But govt refused to act. So the kids got away with it, and their parents weren’t held accountable.

    This is why I am super-suspicious of any alleged “concern” now about parents being responsible for their children’s actions. Since when does the govt give a rat’s a$$ about proper childrearing? If you want to hold parents accountable for their children’s misbehavior, start with the REAL crimes, instead of inventing bogus ones. Hold the parents of young murderers, rapists, drug-dealers, vandals, burglars, thieves, etc. etc. accountable FIRST–and THEN we might take your pious claims seriously, Big Brother…

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