© 2024 WXPR
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Bullying Ordinance Approved By Wisconsin Rapids Council

Wisconsin Rapids Police Dept.

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, WI (WSAU) -- The Wisconsin Rapids municipal bullying ordinance has passed its second City Council reading and will now go into law.

Mayor Zach Vruwink says the measure is meant as another tool to help combat a problem that's changing rapidly with technology. "It addresses youth and youth bullying, and it applies to bullying anywhere in the city, [either] between two adults, or an adult and a youth. The applicability is limitless." He says the goal is not treat the ordinance like a traffic ticket, but instead to add another layer of corrective action by threatening graduated fines of between $50 and $250 for each incident.

"It adds another step in the intervention process," added Vruwink.

Under the ordinance cases of bullying would be handled individually. Vurwink says the school district already has their procedures in place, but if things escalate or it becomes a pattern the city would get involved. "Because every case of bullying is unique, there may be steps that are skipped in the process. If it's a severe case or it's been chronic, those would be candidates for a citation. If it's a singular offense and we can address the issue through a referral to human services or other counseling, I don't expect a citation would be written."

The city already partners with the school to place resource officers in buildings that work with students on things like bullying or use of illegal substances. He says there's no hard evidence to say how often they've dealt with bullying specifically, but he says the new ordinance should help track that data.

The ordinance was modeled after a similar law in Plover. Vruwink says he thinks it is something that other municipalities can model as well. As of this summer, there have been no documented incidents of Plover putting their ordinance into action. There was no single incident that prompted the city to put the ordinance in place.

Up North Updates
* indicates required