Strong majority oppose fines for parents of bullies - 343 participants

Dec 21, 2015

An Oklahoma lawmaker is proposing a $50 fine for parents whose children are caught bullying or potentially breaking other rules. Although there is no such proposal in New Hampshire, lawmakers will consider a bill in 2016 that lets students sue a school for failure to follow the state's anti-bullying law. Read more about this issue. In response, the Live Free or Die Alliance (LFDA) decided to get a read on citizen views on the issue. On December 21, the organization posed the question, “Should NH fine parents $50 if their child bullies another student?” to Facebook members.

“Do you think New Hampshire should fine parents if their child bullies another student?”

Results: Yes or No Respondents

Bully Fines Citizen Voices Chart

Participation: 343 participants gave 687 responses

A total of 92% of those who participated gave a 'yes or no' response to the question. The remaining 8% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a yes or no response. In total, the LFDA received 687 responses from 343 individuals. (Click here for details on our methodology.)

What Participants Said:

No: A majority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 82%, were against fining parents if their child bullies another student.

  • "The state is not in the business of teaching playground etiquette nor should they profit from it. The state is not in the business of teaching parents how to parent nor should the state try to teach society or groom its people.”
  • “How many of these families are poor? I could never afford that. What if their "bully" child just has internal issue, like an undiagnosed learning disability or trauma? This is absolutely going to make the problem worse.”
  • “Teach your keep kids to deal with this and toughen up. Life is rough and kids need to learn how to be strong. You hurt these kids by coddling them.”

Yes: The minority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 18%, supported fining parents if their child bullies another student.

  • “Sometimes you have to hit the pocket in order for people to understand they need to act right.”
  • “Parents do not take responsibility for their kids anymore. They only care about the paycheck. Hit them in the wallet and see a change.”
  • “Good idea, then maybe these parents will spend time with their children and teach them to respect everyone.”

Other: As noted above, 8% of citizens participating did not give a yes or no response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:

  • Discussing the role schools play in curbing bullying: “Won't make a difference if the school isn't acting on the bullying.”
  • Debating how bullying takes place: “Only those who allow themselves to be bullied get bullied.”
  • Expressing concern at government’s role in the issue: “Government has a way of going overboard and taking away people’s rights.”

*Editor selection of actual citizen quotes. 

Click here to read the full Facebook discussion of this question. 

Know someone who would be interested in these results? Forward them the summary version of this report. 

Do you think NH should fine the parents of bullies? Leave a comment and have your say! 

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