If a child repeatedly gets into trouble in North Tonawanda, the parents could be looking at jail time.
A new city law sets maximum penalties of a $250, 15-days in jail or both for parents or guardians of trouble-making minors in the city of North Tonawanda.
“I think the important thing is a message that is sent to parents that there’s a wake-up call here,” says Alderman Jeff Glatz.
The ordinance passed the city common council last week, and went into effect on October 1st.
Now, parents of minor children who violate the city curfew or violate other local laws including harassment and bullying are in violation and may be punished.
In part, the local law was prompted by a group of trouble-making youths that had been keeping North Tonawanda police busy for months.
The group’s leaders, four teens who had been expelled from North Tonawanda Middle School.
Parents of children victimized by the trouble-making group urged city leaders to take action. That led to the new local law putting parents on the hook.
Mayor Art Pappas said, “Most of our parents are wonderful. They uh… they do take responsibility and they do a good job with their children, but some just don’t. They need a wake-up call."