A town in New York has passed a law that could put parents behind bars if their child bullies others.
"I think the important thing is a message that is sent to parents that is that there's a wakeup call here," Niagara County Alderman Jeffrey Glatz said.
A new law in North Tonawanda, New York says that if twice in a 90-day period, a child under the age of 18 violates the city curfew - or any other city law including bullying and harassment - then that child's "parent or guardian shall be subject to a fine of (up to) $250 or ... 15-days (imprisonment) ... or both."
The law follows a summer where city police were kept on their feet because of a small group of young teens who had been wreaking havoc for months.
The core group of the troublemakers were four 14 and 15-year-old teens who had been kicked out of North Tonawanda Middle School.
"In our eyes, it's gotten to the point where we've had to expel them," School Superintendent Gregory J. Woytila said. "They don't seem to have a fear of anything in them."
Back in May, the teens gathered outside a Dollar General store waiting to ambush another boy - one of them recording video of the attack and posting it online.
"I saw a boy just sock him right in the face," the victim's mother said. "He just punched him as hard as he could and the boy was smiling and laughing and kind of shouting out how, you know, great it was what he did to my son. He was looking right at me, completely fearless."
Afterward, the parents formed the North Tonawanda Coalition for Safe Schools & Streets on Facebook. The group soon grew to 600 members and began pressing the school system, the police department and city hall for action.
The result: A new law holding parents accountable for their children.
"Most of our parents are wonderful," Mayor Art Pappas said. "They take responsibility and they do a good job with their children and they guide them. But some just don't and they need a wakeup call."
As for the family of the victim of that violent attack caught on camera, they hope the new law curbs some of the violence caused by some young people in North Tonawanda.
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