By Cleve Bryan
WASHINGTON Twp., N.J. (CBS) – Parents who have nasty things to say on social media about refs, coaches and other people’s kids could face a year-long ban from Washington Township sporting events.
The Township recently passed an ordinance that says their sport’s leagues code of conduct regulations now extend to social media.
“The way we look at this is that social media really in some instances is an extended field of play,” says Washington Township business administrator Bob Smith.
The ordinance stems from a few instances over the last couple months where parents posted negative comments online about other players on their kid’s sports teams.
“Children are being hurt and we have had some instances in our sporting programs,” says councilman Scott Newman who is a youth coach and sponsored the ordinance.
Some parents say the new rule is much needed to control a vocal minority in the stands and online who need to grow up.
“If a parent is talking about somebody else’s kid on Facebook, I think something needs to be done. It just goes too far,” says Patti Mordente.
Mordente’s son has been harassed online by his peers and she says adults should know better.
“It’s a good community, but we also have a faction. I’m sure it goes on in every town where the parents just don’t know where the line is.”
Starting this winter, when a parent signs their child up to play a sport, they must agree to keep it clean in person and online.
If a parent who has been banned shows up to game and refuses to leave then the sports league can call the police.
Washington Township officials say in addition to the one year ban they will try and get any parent who is caught into some kind of anger management program.