Opinion: High Schoolers should be able to trick or treat

Emmy Johnson, Writer

The global holiday Halloween is a time where anyone can dress up in costumes and knock on strangers’ doors asking for candy. It’s a community activity, and while looking at children running with bags of bite-sized chocolate, Halloween-goers will spot the occasional teenager. 

While some people think a group of 16-year-olds could be doing something better on Halloween night, that’s not entirely true. Some teenagers don’t want to party or even do homework or work during a holiday, leaving them to either stay home or go out trick-or-treating. 

Childhood is far too short for teens to not go out and have fun on a holiday. Considering most teens stop going out trick or treating by the time they are adults, there is no harm in them going out during their teenage years.

But this doesn’t stop opposers around the country putting limits on trick-or-treating. In Virginia, the age limit for trick or treating is 12 with penalties of six months of jail time or community service and a $100 fine if caught, laws like this are also in South Carolina, News Jersey and Illinois, according to Yahoo.com. Although these laws are put in place, police departments rarily enforce them unless someone’s safety is compromised. 

Understanding these state concerns, some parents get suspicious when they hear a 17-year-old say they are collecting candy during Halloween— especially when their identity is hidden with no supervision. Teens during Halloween could do anything: smash pumpkins, egg or toilet-papering (TP-ing) houses or cause general mischief. While, yes, some teens do play pranks during this holiday, only 20 percent of teens commit crimes out of 60 percent of Halloween crime rates according to emsecurity, it’s more likely teens are actually trick-or-treating as well as attending parties with friends.

So why exclude teens from trick-or-treating and even pass judgement or assume they are up to no good? Halloween is a time where communities can come together and have fun. Why separate one group of the community from the fun especially where there is no harm, no foul?