• Community split over idea to toss parents in jail over their child's crime

    By: Tom Jones

    Updated:

    SOUTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga. - A new proposal would mean parents could end up in jail if their kids break the law.

    It was a little heated inside the WAOK studios where South Fulton councilwoman Helen Willis discussed her controversial proposed ordinance.

    "Residents are crying for help for parents to be held more accountable," Willis said.

    It calls for parents to face up to a $100 fine and up to 30 days in jail for failing to supervise their unruly minor children.

    "You brought the child into the world, you should be responsible for your child," she said.

    Activist Marcus Coleman disagrees with the legislation.

    "The one quick point that we disagree is I don't feel like it needs to go through municipal court," he said.


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    He thinks the city should allow community organizations to intervene and help parents.

    Willis pointed out the city has a pre-trial diversion program aimed at giving parents the help they need initially.

    If they don't respond to efforts to help, they could be tossed in jail.

    "It's at the discretion of the solicitor," Willis said.

    Callers were split on whether they agreed with the ordinance. The ordinance is only a draft and has not been introduced.

    There is a town hall meeting Monday in South Fulton where residents will be able to weigh in. It starts at 6:30 p.m.

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