Kindergarteners Could Face Misdemeanor Charges for Bullying

Posted: May 11, 2014 12:01 PM

Children as young as kindergarteners in Carson, California could face misdemeanor charges for engaging in acts of bullying. "Bullying" is defined as making somebody feel "terrorized, harassed or threatened with no legitimate purpose."

From the Associated Press:

The Carson City Council gave preliminary approval this week to an ordinance aimed at persons, including other youths, who cause anyone from kindergarten to age 25 to feel terrorized, harassed or threatened with no legitimate purpose.

The Daily Breeze says a final vote is set for May 20.

First-time offenders could be ticketed for an infraction and fined $100. A second infraction would cost $200, and a third-time offense could bring a criminal misdemeanor charge.

The goal of the ordinance is to make Carson, a city of 93,000, a "bully-free city." The ordinance also applies to cyberbullying.

To be blunt: this ordinance is pointless and will do nothing to actually stop bullying. Instead, it will create criminal records for children for acting, well, like children. Criminal harassment laws already exist. There is no reason to pile on laws like this one. Schools should deal with bullying internally--the police shouldn't be giving five-year-old children $100 tickets for playground misbehavior.