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City of Carson Seeks to Make Bullying a Crime: Proposal Passes Preliminary Approval

The city of Carson – located in Los Angeles County, California – is seeking to outlaw bullying in schools. The Carson City Council gave preliminary approval of a proposal to make bullying a misdemeanor offense for anyone up to 25 years old, including kindergarteners. The final vote on the matter will take place on May 20, 2014 as stated in the Daily Breeze.

If the law is passed, a first offense of bullying would be an infraction, resulting in a fine of $100. A second infraction would incur a $200 fine, and a third offense would be treated as a misdemeanor.

In an article by the Associated Press shared by U.S. News & World Report, Councilman Mike Gipson is quoted as saying:

"If a child is bullying someone, and a parent has to pay a $100 fine as a result of that, a responsible parent will realize their child needs some help."

There are arguments against the law being passed, especially since it is uncertain how law enforcement would enforce the law. Lt. Arthur Escamillas told the newspaper:

"A fitness hearing would be required to try a child as a criminal. But if you see a four-year-old riding a bike down the street without a helmet, are you going to give the four-year-old a ticket? It's discretionary."

Much consideration and decision-making will have to go into this proposal as it continues forward, especially if it is approved after the final vote on May 20.

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