Anti-bullying law


((WE FEEL THAT THIS HAS BEEN A GOOD PREVENTATIVE MEASURE AND THAT’S WHAT WE’VE AIMED FOR.)) AN ANTI-BULLYING LAW IN NORTH TONAWANDA SEEMS TO BE WORKING.. THAT’S ACCORDING TO NORTH TONAWANDA OFFICIALS. THE LAW WENT EFFECT LAST OCTOBER. IT PUNISHES PARENTS IF THEIR CHILD IS CAUGHT BULLYING. NEWS 4’S SHANNON SMITH TELLS US HOW POLICE BELIEVE IT’S HELPING TO PREVENT TROUBLE. SHANNON? JACQUIE…IN NORTH TONAWANDA THE PARENT HAS TO PAY A FINE OR DO THE TIME.. .IF THEIR CHILD IS CAUGHT BULLYING OR ATTACKING ANOTHER STUDENT. BUT IN THE LAST YEAR…THE NORTH TONAWANDA POLICE CHIEF TELLS ME HE’S SURPRISED THEY HAVEN’T MADE ANY ARRESTS… ((OUR AIM WAS NOT TO LOCK PARENTS UP AND TO ARREST THEM FOR THE ACTIONS OF THEIR CHILDREN)) IT’S BEEN A LITTLE MORE THAN A YEAR SINCE NORTH TONAWANDA’S ANTI- BULLYING LAW WENT INTO EFFECT. ((SUPRISINGLY WE HAVE NOT HAD TO SUMMONS ANY PARENTS INTO COURT FOR THE ACTIONS OF THEIR CHILDREN)) POLICE CHIEF ROGER ZGOLAK (Z-GO-LACK), SAYS SO FAR POLICE HAVEN’T ARRESTED ANY PARENTS OF CHILDREN CAUGHT BULLYING. ACCORDING TO THE LAW…PARENTS COULD SPEND UP TO FIFTEEN DAYS IN JAIL OR PAY A 250 DOLLAR FINE..OR BOTH. BUT THAT’S SUPPOSED TO BE A LAST RESORT. POLICE INVESTIGATE A BULLYING COMPLAINT…AND ZGOLAK SAYS ZGOLAK SAYS THE FAMILY GETS A WARNING LETTER. ((IN THIS PAST YEAR, WE’VE ONLY WRITTEN ONE WARNING LETTER TO ONE FAMILY REGARDING THEIR CHILD. THAT FAMILY I BELIEVE HAS REACHED OUT TO OTHER AGENCIES TO HELP CORRECT THE BEHAVIOR.)) IF THE CHILD IS CAUGHT BULLYING AGAIN WITHIN 90 DAYS…THEN THE PARENT HAS TO GO TO COURT. SOMETHING BOTH THE CITY AND PARENTS HOPED WOULD PREVENT STUDENTS FROM GETTING HURT. ((OUR AIM WAS TO USE IT AS A DETERRENT AND TO CORRECT BEHAVIOR AND I THINK THAT HAS WORKED FOR US)) BUT SOME IN NORTH TONAWANDA SAY THEY DON’T BELIEVE THE LAW IS TRULY ENFORCED. MAYOR PAPPAS DISAGREES AND SAYS HE BELIEVES NOT ALL BULLYING CASES ARE REPORTED. BUT HE SAYS THE CITY HAS NOTICED A DIFFERENCE. ((WE HAVE DEFINITELY NOTICED A DECLINE IN INCIDENTS THAT ARE BEING REPORTED)) HE BELIEVES THIS LAW IS SENDING A MESSAGE TO BOTH CHILDREN AND THEIR PARENTS. ((I THINK WE MADE A POINT IN OUR TOWN, LIKE I GUESS ANY CITY OR TOWN, THAT WE DON’T WANT TO TOLERATE BULLYING WHETHER IT BE CHILDREN OR ADULTS.)) I SPOKE TO SEVERAL PARENTS WHO DIDN’T WANT TO GO ON CAMERA, THE MAJORITY OF THEM SAID THEY HADN’T EVEN HEARD OF THE ANTI-BULLYING LAW. MAYOR PAPPAS SAYS THE CITY WORKS WITH THE NORTH TONAWANDA CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT. HE SAYS PEOPLE CAN REPORT