Should Teenagers Trick or Treat?

Alexis Rendel

During the Halloween season, many high schoolers ask the question “Does anyone want to go trick or treating?” This, of course, is a very valid question. Everyone wants to show off their costumes and although many teens choose to just hang out and go to parties, who can say no to free candy? However, some cities and townships across America such as; Meridian, Mississippi, Chesapeake, Maryland, and Bishopville, South Carolina, have recently decided to ban trick or treating for teenagers over the age of 12-14. 

Unfortunately, many parents agree with this decision claiming that parents don’t expect to open their doors to 16 year olds in “provocative costumes” asking for candy they originally intended to give to five year olds. In addition to this, many parents are not comfortable with groups of teens running around their neighborhoods, disrupting the peace, meanwhile they just want to enjoy the evening with their children. Police in these restrictive townships claim that many teens could cause disruption and damage while roaming around on Halloween, and as a result, policemen in these areas are able to press charges as a class 4 demeanor with a fine. 

However, this now brings attention to the question, what if teenagers just want to relive their younger years and enjoy themselves? Today’s average teen experiences new levels of stress as a result of increased pressure towards grades, testing, and college acceptance. A common report of teens who feel stressed in schools on average is 83%. So, maybe a way of coping with these unavoidable stressors is going trick or treating with friends. Furthermore, not all teens dress in provocative Halloween costumes, and although parents have a right to be concerned about their younger children intermingling with the older kids, most teens are totally harmless. For the most part teens just want some free candy to enjoy on a night with their friends. 

All in all, these arguments bring about a final question; Should teenage have an opinion on whether or not it’s ok for them to trick or treat, or are these concerned parents right in their assumptions on the teens’ disruptive tendencies? Perhaps it’s a problem that affects the entire townships and neighborhoods, but within our community, it seems to be a matter of personal preference and opinion.