Kindergarten Criminals? Bullies in CA Could Face Misdemeanor Charges
Is your kindergartner a criminal?
This week, the Carson City Council in California gave preliminary approval to an ordinance that would target people from kindergarten to age 25 who makes others feel “terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested.”
The first offense could result in a ticket and $100 fine, and the second offense could come with a $200 fine. The third offense could result in a criminal misdemeanor.
A final vote on the ordinance will be held on May 20.
Read more below from the New York Daily News:
“If a child is bullying someone, and a parent has to pay a $100 fine as a result of that, a responsible parent will realize their child needs some help,” said Councilman Mike Gipson, who introduced the ordinance and is spearheading a campaign to make Carson bully-free.
Adults who bully would be charged with either an infraction or a misdemeanor, which could come with jail time.
The measure also would cover forms of cyberbullying in the city of 93,000 people in Los Angeles County.
It’s unclear how the Sheriff’s Department would enforce the law, since infractions and misdemeanors rarely are doled out unless the crime is witnessed by a law enforcement officer, officials said.
“A fitness hearing would be required to try a child as a criminal,” Lt. Arthur Escamillas told the newspaper. “But if you see a 4-year-old riding a bike down the street without a helmet, are you going to give a 4-year-old a ticket? It’s discretionary.”
Whether officers cite and charge children with misdemeanors for bullying will have to be decided by the Sheriff’s Department leadership, Escamillas said.
Hear what the hosts of “Fox and Friends” had to say about the ordinance in the video above.