CARSON (CBSLA.com) — Officials in the city of Carson on Tuesday introduced an ordinance that would impose criminal penalties for anyone convicted of bullying school children and young adults.
The ordinance (PDF) would make it a misdemeanor to cause any Carson residents from kindergarten through age 25 to “feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested” without necessarily requiring a threat of physical harm.
The California Penal Code only penalizes bullying “where a bully makes an actual threat to the life or safety of his or her victim.”
The ordinance would also 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.
Under the measure – which would also cover cyber-bullying – police and other law enforcement officials would be given discretion to file lesser charges against any alleged bullies, the Los Angeles Times reported.
KNX 1070’s Ron Kilgore reports Carson Mayor Jim Dear, who is also a school teacher, believes the ordinance would not only protect potential victims, but also send a message to would-be bullies.