By Barbara Gilmour, NJ Mom Squad Team.

I’m seeing a few articles addressing this question. Can parents be held accountable for the bullying behavior of their children? In an article by Amanda Scherker, on November 6 this year, it was reported that a New York student was “taking her aggressors and their parents to court. Caitlin Rocco and her mother are preparing a lawsuit against her bullies and their parents.

“HuffPost blogger Steve Siebold, addressing parents, schools, and lawmakers, writes: ’They need to stop denying the problem and closing their doors, and start acting like leaders. Parents need to be more involved with their children, and stop bullying in its tracks. If not, parents need to be held accountable, too.’”

A Florida-based legal advocacy group, Justice Outreach, proposed a bill in October that would punish parents whose children are involved in cyberbullying. ”This bill, called ‘Bullying, Cyberbullying, and Harassment-Parental Responsibility,’ would legally define bullying and cyberbullying, and would hold parents of bullies and bullying victims accountable for failing to supervise their children.”

Parents to blame for bullying
What can concerned parents do? There are multiple resources available; many of which are reactive, addressing the issues after the fact. Strong proactive measures, at young ages, which means beginning at home, are necessary to equip kids with the tools they need to reject bullying and being a child who bullies. Teaching empathy, kindness, compassion, tolerance and acceptance are some of the important values our children need to learn early. Starting in middle school or high school is too late.

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