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​Kindergarten cop: California kids could face misdemeanor charges over bullying

Published time: May 10, 2014 13:41
AFP Photo / Romain Perrocheau

AFP Photo / Romain Perrocheau

Young kids could face misdemeanor charges for bullying, according to a new law proposed in southern California.

The legislation in the city of Carson would target anyone from kindergarten age to 25 who makes another person feel "terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested," AP reported.

First-time offenders could be fined $100, while a second infraction would cost $200, and a third-time offense could entail a criminal misdemeanor charge.

Adults who are involved in bullying would be charged with either an infraction or a misdemeanor, which could see them put behind bars.

The law is also set to deal with different forms of cyber-bullying.

It remains unclear how the legislation would be enforced, as infractions and misdemeanors are usually only proven when witnessed by a law enforcement official.

"A fitness hearing would be required to try a child as a criminal," Lieutenant Arthur Escamillas told the local Daily Breeze newspaper.

"But if you see a 4-year-old riding a bike down the street without a helmet, are you going to give a 4-year-old a ticket? It's discretionary," he added.

However, those in favor of the legislation say it would give a signal to the parents that something is wrong.

"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," Councilman Mike Gipson said, Reuters reported.

Comments (34)


Diez Sanchez 13.05.2014 14:52

The medical field HAS a 1800 report abuse hotline that protects The elderly & disabled!( physical, verbal, emotional & neglect are reportable & charges pressed if valid) ! Just cut n paste clinical oversight model! It creates a 3rd party oversight that evaluate the reported data! This is critical cuz with teachers & cops are policing themselves , rhus you get what we have now! A mess & epic fail that blame d kids! The only degreed professionals that blame who they serve rather thier professional selves for failing children! Imagine a Dr. Or nurse saying d same about kids?FAILURES


Suzanne Fritsch 12.05.2014 13:00

Oh yeah, another new law to regulate parents and teachers. Can't wait till 5 and 6 year olds go on trial.


Erik Trete 12.05.2014 08:42

Regula 11.05.2014 11:46

In ... If the US now wants to accuse 4 year olds of bullying - well good luck trying toddlers. ...


The law is not aimed at toddlers, but at parents, many of whom refuse to take the responsibility to properly raise their kids, to teach respect and tolerance of others. Ever had a 4 yr old curse you out w/every vulgar word in your language? Many parents completely neglect their children & refuse to take responsibility for them. Currently the only tool in the US is to remove the kid to protective services - a very big hammer. Any law can be abused, even good ones.

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