Should Parents of Bullies Be Held Responsible?

If a parent knows that their child is a bully, and does nothing about it, should they be held responsible? Nutley, N.J. Health Commissioner and former school board member Steven Rogers, believes so.   He says  “the key to preventing bullying in the first place is accountability.”

“Bullies are not really held accountable until it’s really too late, and I’ve advocated for many years that parents should be held responsible for the behavior of their children,” Rogers said. “I am talking about repetitive behavior; habitual behavior”


I think parents should do their part to ensure that their kids do not bully others. There should be constant reminders  to their  kids about the importance of treating others the way they would want to be treated.  Something that might seem funny at the time, can actually be very hurtful.  That being said, we all know that kids have their own minds and do things that even we, as parents cannot control or might not even be aware of.

But how about when a parent knows their child is a bully and  does nothing about it?

This is something I’ve come across in my own life, when my son has been bullied quite a bit by one kid in particular.  After a face to face conversation with the mom and the kid after an incident, I believed that it was taken care of.  But I found out later that the behavior had continued.  After the latest incident when I attempted to talk to the mom about it, she went on the attack saying that my son wasn’t innocent.  I acknowledged,  my child wasn’t innocent.  I know that my son had responded with bad language and mean names- but while not  a good way to behave, it  was reactive  to a bully.  And when I heard how my son responded (with words) we discussed it and came up with a better plan. In short, I responded, took action, and  even though I don’t think my son was expressly wrong, we discussed other ways to handle known bullies.

A kid can only ignore a bully for so long, Then some sort action will be taken. Sometimes, it will be with words, sometimes with fists, against the bully, and sometimes, with the self harm or even death of the bullied.

When kids are bullies- and they tease, hurt and harass other kids, there is usually a reason- there is something going on with with them. Maybe they’re  not getting what the need from home.  Maybe they see their own families- brothers and sisters, or parents,  being abusive towards others.  There are many of family issues that can  drive the kids to bully. Instead of ignoring it,  or refusing to acknowledge it,  they need to step up and  see what is going on in their child’s life that makes them act this way. in short, they need to PARENT.

The bottom line is responsibility. In the end, the parents should be raising their kids to respect others.  Most of the time, parents  WILL react when they find out their child is bullying, and take steps to make sure it stops.  Sometimes, they just don’t know what to do or how to stop it, but with a little guidance they will help their child.  But sometimes, parents  simply don’t pay attention to what their kids are doing, or don’t care,  and very rarely, but occasionally, they may even encourage it. I believe that these types of parents that should be held responsible for their kids behavior.

Do you think a parent who KNOWS their child is bulling  and does nothing to stop the behavior should be held accountable?







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