Why banning 13-year-olds from trick-or-treating on Halloween is ridiculous

The city of Chesapeake, Virginia has an ordinance that bans anyone 13 years and older from trick or treating. (Photo: M_a_y_a, Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Teens could be fined or even jailed for trick-or-treating in one Virginia city.

No, you haven’t been redirected to a story on The Onion. This is real.

The city of Chesapeake has an ordinance that bans anyone 13 years and older from trick or treating. If teens are caught in costume with a sack full of free candy, they could be found “guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not less than $25 nor more than $100 or by confinement in jail for not more than six months or both.”

Oh, and Halloween fun shall be over by 8 p.m.

MORE: In one Virginia city, trick-or-treaters over 12 could face jail time

To be fair, the city has said it doesn’t intend to have police officers card trick-or-treaters.

Still, why is this a law? Families should have the freedom to decide when the fun-loving era of trick-or-treating is over.

There’s a wide gap in parent’s opinions on what that right age is, according to a non-scientific poll of 2,000 people by Today. When asked, “How old is too old to trick-or-treat?” 73 percent of people said between 12 and 17. But those five years between early and late teens mark a huge difference in adolescent development. 

What’s next? How else can we crush teen spirit? Footloose-style bans on dancing? 14-year-olds filing tax returns?

Teens trick-or-treating, provided they’re respectful to the people around them, are not doing any harm.

You know what they could be doing instead?

Vandalizing property. Going to parties with alcohol or illicit drugs. Heck, an already moody teenager sitting sadly at home feeling like they missed out is a bummer enough reason to let them get dressed up and get some candy.

But the biggest reason teens should be allowed to trick or treat in peace?

Teens don’t need to grow up any faster than they already are.

Judging by the social media reaction, many people agree.

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