OMG! Belleville you go too far!

On the Today Show today, they reported that police in Belleville Illinois can ticket kids age 12 and older who go trick or treating on Halloween.  The city’s mayor claims that people are frightened when they answer the door on Halloween and instead of a little kid, they find a big kid on their doorstep.

Now I know that Belleville is way too close to East St. Louis even for my own comfort, but that just doesn’t cut it as an excuse to fine older kids out trick or treating.  The fine by the way can be up to $1000.  What kid or their parents can afford that!  It is absolutely ridiculous.  The mayor said that in these times they need laws like this.  IMO, only if you believe that all teenagers are scum just waiting to hurt you.  The reality is that teens today are very helpful.  They want to be of service to others.  They just need opportunities to do so.  Give them options like a Halloween party that they could run for younger kids and they would latch onto it like a lifeline.  It would be a way for the teens to have fun on Halloween without trick or treating.

Honestly, we expect older kids to be upright citizens.  But if we give them no opportunity to show us that they can be what we expect, how will they ever be those upright citizens?  Most older kids who go out trick or treating really just want the opportunity once a year to be a kid.  Yes, the candy they collect is a definite plus in their eyes too.  We force our kids to grow up so fast.  The pressure they face today is intense.  Why can’t we let them just be kids one day a year?  Adults go to parties, some booze it up to find release.  Where are the pressure relief valves for teens?  Do we really want them to turn to drugs and alcohol?

Give teens other options for releasing the pressures of growing up.  Host a party for them at a community center.  Take them bowling or to the movies.  Stop treating them like miniature adults.  Make sure there are options for teens to destress safely in your community.  Our children and teens are our future.  Care about them and nurture them.  It’s worth the investment of your time.  And you might just come to realize that they aren’t the bad, nasty scum you once thought they were. 

We don’t need laws to keep teens from trick or treating.  Maybe we need laws to teach adults how to be better mentors to our young people.

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