Parents face fines in new anti-bullying ordinance

Parents face fines in new anti-bullying ordinance

SHARPSBURG, Pa. — Officials in Sharpsburg passed a controversial anti-bullying ordinance this week.

It holds parents accountable for their children's actions.

Parents can be fined up to $250 for their children's behavior and police officers in Sharpsburg now have the legal authority to enforce it.

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If a kid now gets caught bullying on the school bus, at the bus stop or on the playground in Sharpsburg, it's their mom and dad who will get a visit from police.

The new ordinance says if police can prove a course of conduct where a child is harassing another child and intending to intimidate or threaten in person or online, parents of the bully will face a $250 fine or community service.

"The investigating officer within his discretion or her discretion can issue a warning letter to the parent and to the student," said Mayor Matt Rudzki. He modeled the the ordinance after anti-bullying legislation that was passed in Brentwood a few years ago.

He's already gotten calls from mayors in neighboring communities wanting to know how he got this ordinance on the books.

"In the coming weeks, I'll be meeting with a few of them to discuss the ordinance, the procedure, the public comment we had on it and hopefully be applying this and getting it passed up the Allegheny River and through Allegheny County," Rudzki said.

The ordinance only applies to online and in-person bullying within the borough of Sharpsburg. It does not apply to bullying in the Fox Chapel schools.

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