You can't really make things like this up. The city council in Carson, California, voted, unanimously but tentatively, to approve an ordinance that would criminalize anyone between the ages of 5 and 18 who makes someone else feel "terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested" with "no legitimate purpose." Here's one of the brains behind the ordinance, via The Daily Breeze:
Councilwoman Lula Davis-Holmes supported the anti-bullying ordinance after the council agreed to reduce the severity of the penalty to an infraction for the first and second violations by children.
"I'm a mother, and I think I'm in favor of this but I would not want to go to court for a 5- or 10-year-old and say: 'You're charged with a misdemeanor,' " Davis-Holmes said. "We're creating another problem here by saying it's a misdemeanor. Then we're saying it's at the discretion of an enforcing officer (to charge the child criminally), but he might be wearing a (white extremist) hood. I want to pass it, but I don't want to put this label on young people."
She was there to vote tentatively in favor of the ordinance. A first infraction would cost $100 and a second one $200, then misdemeanor charges. Those fines are a lot of money for a lot of people, and can cause lots of problems. About David-Holmes' "hoods," The Breeze again:
It's not clear how the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department would enforce the law, since infractions and misdemeanors are rarely doled out unless the crime is witnessed by a law enforcement officer, officials said.
"When you talk about who can commit a crime, there's three basic categories of people who cannot commit crimes: lunatics and idiots, children of a certain age and elderly," said Carson sheriff's Lt. Arthur Escamillas. "A fitness hearing would be required to try a child as a criminal. 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."
That doesn't sound like the thinking or feeling of someone wearing a hood, although feeling that you want to pass a law against children who might threaten you kind of does.
Check out The Independents' segment on bullying the bullies from earlier this week: