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Hot-Headed Parents Attacking Refs Could Face Tougher Punishment

Hot-Headed Parents Attacking Refs Could Face Tougher Punishment

Parents who attack referees at their children's athletic events could face toughened penalties, if the Senate agrees to a bill that won passage from the House in a 93-1 vote.

The misdemeanor crime of battery of a school or recreation contest official currently carries a fine of up to $500 and a prison sentence of up to six months.

House Bill 227 by Rep. Cameron Henry, R-Metairie, would raise the possible consequences for a conviction to a fine of at least $1,000 and up to $5,000 and a minimum of five days in jail. If the referee needs medical attention, the prison sentence would be at least 10 days.

Also, anyone convicted in such a case would have to go to anger management classes or some other type of court-ordered counseling.

Henry said referees from his area asked for the heightened penalties, hoping that would discourage such behavior.

"They just felt the existing fines weren't enough of a deterrent from parents going after referees at these events," he said.

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