Virginia Town Wants To Jail Trick-Or-Treaters Over 12 Years Old

In what seems like an unnecessary dose of insanity, the town of Chesapeake, Virginia introduced a law this week that would charge, fine, and even imprison children over the age of 12 who go trick-or-treating.

  1. They want to turn kids into criminals. Under this legislation, any child over 12 who attempts to trick-or-treat would not only be charged with a misdemeanor, they’d be fined between $25 and $100 and receive up to six months behind bars. For trick-or-treating. Let that sink in.
  2. Even staying out too late is a crime. The law also says that kids of any age who trick-or-treat after 8 p.m. can also be charged with a misdemeanor, charged between $10 and $100 in fines, and given up to 30 days behind bars. Um, WHAT?
  3. What happened to Halloween being fun? When I was a kid, we headed out with pillowcases that we’d try to fill as high as possible with delicious candy. When we were done, we’d come back home and swap it with each other, everyone trading their least favorite things for the stuff they loved that others had more of. It was just a fun, enjoyable holiday. Why does Virginia have to ruin that?
  4. What about the kids who are chaperoning younger siblings? One of the biggest benefits of having an older child is sending them out with the younger one to do things like trick-or-treating. According to this law, if a 13-year-old took their younger brother or sister out for candy, they could be arrested and charged simply because of their age. How does that make sense?
  5. Sorry, but we still went trick-or-treating at 13. While trick-or-treating trickled off once we graduated middle school, that would have made us 13 and 14 when we last went out. In Chesapeake, that would now be punishable by law and would go on your criminal record, likely for life. Sorry, but that’s crazy.
  6. It’s not going to stop mischief from happening. If the lawmakers’ thought process here is that teens get up to trouble, keeping them from getting free candy isn’t going to help that. In fact, it’ll probably make it worse —they’ll go out and egg houses or whatever instead of getting as many snack-sized Snickers as they can. Not exactly forward-thinking from Chesapeake lawmakers, is it?
  7. It’s lame. Seriously, that’s the bottom line. Who tries to make kids into criminals for going out to get free candy? Lame old cranky fuddy-duddies, that’s who. BOO to them (and yes, pun totally intended).
Piper Ryan is a NYC-based writer and matchmaker who works to bring millennials who are sick of dating apps and the bar scene together in an organic and efficient way. To date, she's paired up more than 120 couples, many of whom have gone on to get married. Her work has been highlighted in The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Cut, and many more.

In addition to runnnig her own business, Piper is passionate about charity work, advocating for vulnerable women and children in her local area and across the country. She is currently working on her first book, a non-fiction collection of stories focusing on female empowerment.