Police in a Rock County community hope a new ordinance provides some financial incentive to keep bullies from turning classmates into victims. Milton Chief of Police Jerry Scheutz says localizing the state bullying law gives police an intermediate step to hold people accountable, without necessarily entering them into the criminal justice system. “It’s a strong message we’re sending to say you can’t do this because it’s against the law. There’s a state law against it, there’s a city ordinance against it, and if you harass people in our community, if you bully people in our community, that you’re going to be held accountable.”
Scheutz says they’re working with the Milton school district to implement the ordinance in the schools, but it’s is designed to curb harassment city wide. “Research on school violence, particularly school shootings have suggested that . . . bullying and harassment were one of the issues that led up a child that may choose to snap and do something very inappropriate.” The fine for a first offence is $100.