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Daily Talker: Will Slapping Bullies With Fines Work?

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The city council in Carson, California, will vote Tuesday on a tough new plan to outlaw bullying by imposing fines on offenders.

“We have to draw a line in the sand and say enough is enough and bullying is no longer accepted in this city,” says city council member Mike Gipson, the author of a proposed anti-bullying ordinance.

A first-time bullying offense is a $100 fine, a second is $200, and a third could bring a criminal misdemeanor charge. The ordinance would also make a parent or legal guardian responsible for the bullying acts of his or her child, provided that they were made aware of any violation within 90 days.

What isn’t clear is how the law will be enforced, particularly if no one else witnesses an incident. Some students also worry that young people won’t report bullying.

“Because then you are a snitch,” junior Evan Locke says. “They’ll look at you like that, and that’s an even bigger problem.”

What do you think of the idea? Will fining bullies make a difference, or are there better ways of dealing with the problem? Share your comments below and watch for them on WBZ News in the Morning from 4:30 to 7:00 a.m.

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