B is for Bully: Calif. city may criminalize bullying; kindergartners would be subject to penalties

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Officials in the city of Carson, Calif., are considering a new ordinance that would criminalize bullying. The proposal, which was introduced Tuesday, would make it a misdemeanor to bully anyone from kindergarten through age 25.

The Carson measure is unique in that it does not require any threat of physical harm for penalties to be imposed upon a guilty party, a local CBS station reported. Victims need to only feel “terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested.”


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“If you are caught a second time actually bullying someone, then there’s gonna be more counseling, maybe anger management; a third time is gonna be a misdemeanor,” Carson Mayor Jim Dear said, the station reported. “And you, your parents or guardians are going to have to go to court.”

The proposal would also would 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 withing 90 days,” the station reported.

Groups who are cited in the ordinance as being particularly vulnerable to bullying include: the chronically ill, disabled, gifted, overweight and “sexual minority” kids, the station reported.

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