Lawmaker wants to fine parents of bullies up to $500

Tyree Black was bullied at school. (Source: WOIO)
Tyree Black was bullied at school. (Source: WOIO)

WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA - A Pennsylvania lawmaker has a unique way to stop bullies at school by targeting their parents with a fine of up to $500.

The "three strike" plan would hold parents accountable for their child's actions if they're caught bullying in school.

Cleveland 19 spoke with a local parent whose child was bullied so badly, he took his own life.

She thinks something like this could help other children.

It's been almost four years since Marie Lassiter-Black lost her son Tyree at just 13-years-old.

"It's tough, it's not easy. I miss my child every day," she said.

He died by suicide after she says a group of boys bullied him relentlessly at school.

"It's something you will never ever get over. It's a painful process, so I wish more could have been done prior to his death," Lassiter-Black said.

State Representative Frank Burns of Pennsylvania thinks he has a solution to bullying.

He wants parents to pay up for their child's bad behavior.

His proposal would require schools to notify parents each time their child bullies another child.

After the first incident, parents would be told what action the school took.

A second time, and parents would be required to take a bullying class.

If it happens again, the bully's parents would get a court citation and face a fine of up to $500.

Marie thinks the idea is a step in the right direction.

"If it's been several accounts, and it's definitely an actual bully, then I believe that there are certain measures that need to be taken," she said.

Here in Ohio, Marie would like to see schools do more to alert parents about bullying first.

And then, she thinks it's a good idea to hold the parents of bullies accountable.

"I never want to see another parent suffering like I'm suffering," she said.

If your child is being bullied at school, you should report the incident to school officials.

Under Ohio law, they have to investigate it.

You can find more resources to fight bullying at Safer Schools Ohio.

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