Illinois City Bans Trick-or-Treating for Teenagers

Well, this is about the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard in a while.  Belleville, Illinois passed an ordinance last Monday that restricted trick-or-treating.  That sounds normal, right, most cities limit the time that kids can trick-or-treat.  But the city isn’t just limiting when; they’re also limiting who can trick-or-treat.  And it also limits the wearing of masks, to only Halloween (unless you’re under 12).

Here’s an overview of the ordinance (unfortunately, Belleville is a little slow in uploading their meeting minutes, and all they have right now is a copy of the agenda, so this isn’t the exact wording of the ordinance):

  • Limits trick-or-treating on Halloween from 5:00 P.M. until 8:30 P.M.
  • Bans anyone in above the 8th grade (anybody older than 13 or 14) from trick-or-treating on Halloween, unless they are a “special-needs” child, and then they must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • Allows children age 12 and under to wear a mask and/or disguise any day of the year, but restricts anyone above 12 to being able to wear a mask and/or disguise only on Halloween.
  • Prohibits any and all child sex offenders from going to any event and/or holding any event for Halloween where any child (other than his/her own) will be present. Child sex offenders must also turn out their outside lights on Halloween night, and they are banned from handing out candy.

OK, so bullet points 1 and 4 I have no problem with.  It’s 2 and 3 that I have an issue with.

But before I go on, let me give you some quotes that Mayor Mark Eckert told reporters:

We believe that Halloween is for little children.  We just feel that we need to go that extra mile to protect the children.

We were hearing more and more about bigger kids knocking on doors after 9:00 at night and the people who lived in the homes were scared.  The seniors were especially scared.  They didn’t want to be the recipient of some kind of trick, but they didn’t want to open their doors late at night, either.

Sexual predators can’t have parties.  It’s not right, it’s wrong.  They lost that privilege.

OK, so I get the principle behind this, but here’s where you have a problem: Those teenagers out after 9:00 P.M. would be out past the overall curfew anyway, so they’d already be breaking the law.  What is the need for another law here?  If they’re out past 8:30, they can be arrested (I’m assuming that’s the punishment).  So that right there would solve your teenagers out late problem.  Banning trick-or-treating for anybody above the 8thgrade is simply ageism.  You cannot discriminate against somebody like this.  I’ll accept a curfew (although I have problems with those at times too), but to ban outright the practice of trick-or-treating for ANYBODY (other than felons who lose some rights when they’re convicted) is discrimination, and in my view, illegal!

Now, the mask/disguise ordinance.  You’re telling me that a 16-year-old kid can’t wear a mask outside at a Halloween party the night before Halloween (Devil’s Night if you live here in Detroit)?  Or what if a Star Trek convention comes to Belleville?  Are you telling me that masks aren’t allowed?  It’s ridiculous!  Unfortunately, without the ordinance I don’t have the city’s legal definition of “disguise” but would this apply to people dressed up as Santa Clause?  Are you going to haul away the Salvation Army Santa for being in a “disguise” on a day other than Halloween?  It’s dumb.  It restricts the Freedom of Speech (this isn’t a dress code in school we’re talking about here – this is just being out in PUBLIC generally!)!  It’s asinine, ridiculous, and it’s unconstitutional.

I hope somebody old goes out and trick-or treats, or wears a mask the day after Halloween so that this can be taken to court and overturned.  I’m a Law and Order Conservative – I abide by the laws.  I don’t speed.  I don’t drink underage.  I’ve never stolen a candy bar.  But when the law goes against Constitutional principles, it MUST be disobeyed so that it can be challenged in court, and this is one time where I say, “Break that law!”

Done Ranting

Ranting Republican
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11 Responses to “Illinois City Bans Trick-or-Treating for Teenagers”

  1. Fred Says:

    it’s a good thing your mom and i like to dress down…

  2. Dana Carroll Says:

    I live in Belleville. Apparently it is also against the law to feed stray cats and have more than 3 inside companion animals. I had the police at my house last week because my spiteful neighbors turned me in. The police office threatened to come back this week to make sure I had “gotten rid” of 3 of my 6 cats. (who are 18yrs, 17, 12, 12, 9 & 8). He was more worried about me than about my swinging, pot smoking neighbors who run a day care

  3. No trick-or-treating for teens - MassCops Says:

    […] permalink I saw this on Fox yesterday & I googled it to try & get a link with a more complete story. The only ones I could come up with were from 2008. I'm thinking Fox25 was a little late to the party with this one. Illinois City Bans Trick-or-Treating for Teenagers Republican Ranting […]

  4. sam Says:

    is this also going on in parts if not all of Texas?

  5. I hear ya Says:

    Ok so from what I gather you are not even from Belleville?! Wow mighty wide of you to voice your opinion on something that doesn’t even affect you. Silly ordinances like these are put in place for a reason, hence: one bad apple ruins the bunch, they can’t prevent the bad kids or hoarder of cats from doing these things without making it the same for everyone that falls in the same category (that my friend would be discrimination). Instead of people putting a stop to there kids running the neighborhoods with no costumes, pants around there thighs and bullying the younger trick or treaters let’s just bash the city for trying to keep it from progressing. I get it you make a good point!

  6. Randi Says:

    THIS IS BULLCRAP. I CANT BELIEVE THAT THEY ARE PULING THIS OFF!! I am 12, going on 13, and I love trik-or-yreating, dressing up, etc. I don’t want my only day of the year of dressing up as whatever the heck I want taken away from me. Im a good kid, but this is one thing I want to overturn.

    REBEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! REBEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! REBEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. LesterBurnham Says:

    Nanny society strikes again!!!

  8. Jay Says:

    Call me crazy, but I’m a little bit annoyed with point #4 too. I know nobody wants to be on the side of sex offenders, but at what point do we have enough of an end run around double jeopardy. These people have been convited of a crime, served some amount of time, have been released and they we make a myriad of other laws that apply retroactively to keep punishing these people. If we have decided that its cruel to lock them up forever and we’re not going to do that, than we shouln’t attempt extra judicial punishment through legislation.

  9. Ben Alvarado Says:

    imma teenager, and i love candy. so do all my friends. all of them. like big B. so we are going to go. and big W too

  10. Ben Alvarado Says:

    i say B you say S. B, S, B, S

  11. Kitiara Farrin Says:

    That’s Belleville for you. This is a town where everything on Main St but the bars shuts down at 5:00 or so, including the restaurants! You can see how family-friendly they are… Ridiculous? Sure? Typical of Belleville? Yup. We’ve been saving up for years so we can get out of this town.

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