Halloween Sex Offender Rule Isn't Really the Answer

sex offenders halloweenIt's the spookiest time of the year, and yet another California community is trying to keep the bogeyman away from their local children on Halloween by not allowing sex offenders to give out candy. Riverside County will not allow registered sex offenders to give out candy, hang Halloween decorations, or have their lights on between 5 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. on Halloween. As the county supervisor explained, that's like leading the prey to the predator.

Also like last year, other people are stepping forward to say that this doesn't really protect children and, furthermore, continues to punish those who have paid their debt to society. And, lest we forget, some sex offenders are simply 18-year-olds who had sex with their teenage girlfriend and an angry parent brought charges. It's a tricky one. 

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My kids will be trick or treating in my neighborhood this year and I only know a handful of our neighbors. I know which ones are sex offenders, thanks to Megan's Law, and chances are we wouldn't be going that far away from the house anyway. But my kids are still young and have an adult accompanying them along the sidewalk. If my kids were old enough to trick or treat around the neighborhood by themselves, maybe I would think twice.

Although I have to say I don't remember my mom ever letting me trick or treat without her being somewhere nearby. By the time she was willing to let me go out on my own, I wasn't trick or treating anymore. I'm not really worried about someone snatching my kid when she rings the doorbell and asks for candy. I mean, we know where they live and I'd be right behind her. Also, highly, highly, highly unlikely scenario. So my gut instinct is that this is an overreaction that does no one any good.

Still, as a mom to two tiny children, I have the fear in the back of my head. Even though I know it's statisitcally unlikely that harm would come to my children, I don't even want a sex offender to look at my kids. But as long as I'm letting them out of the house, people will see them. I cannot control which people look at my children and which ones do not. To think otherwise is insane.

So maybe let's not make Halloween any scarier than it already is for ourselves or our children. Stop worrying about who is behind closed doors in your neighborhood and start looking at those sugar and calorie counts on the candy your kids haul home.

Do you think sex offenders should be allowed to give out Halloween candy?

 

Image via paparutzi/Flickr

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