New Louisiana penalties passed for parents who harass referees

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana lawmakers want to crack down on parents who scuffle with referees at children's sporting events, backing a bill to create new penalties for the behavior.

The legislation will create the new crime of harassment of a school or recreation athletic contest official, authorizing penalties if the referee feels in "fear of receiving bodily harm" while officiating.

Someone found guilty could face up to 90 days in jail, along with mandatory counseling and community service work.

The House gave final passage to the bill by Republican Rep. Cameron Henry with a 102-1 vote Monday, sending it to the governor.

The bill also creates a new crime and penalties for entering or remaining onsite at a school or recreation athletic event after being told to leave.

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House Bill 184: www.legis.la.gov

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