The Highlander

Let them eat candy!

Teen trick or treating should be allowed and encouraged

A+lone+Halloween+pumpkin+leers.+Teens+are+often+pressured+to+go+to+a+party+or+stay+home+alone+on+Halloween+night.
A lone Halloween pumpkin leers. Teens are often pressured to go to a party or stay home alone on Halloween night.

A lone Halloween pumpkin leers. Teens are often pressured to go to a party or stay home alone on Halloween night.

Camille Blakemore

Camille Blakemore

A lone Halloween pumpkin leers. Teens are often pressured to go to a party or stay home alone on Halloween night.

Camille Blakemore, Reporter

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The clock strikes 6 p.m. on October 31. The sun is starting to go down and porch lights begin to turn on to signal trick or treaters it’s time for the fun to start. The adults are getting ready to pass out candy, the children are anxiously adjusting costumes, and the teenagers are…what? Sneaking some Snickers from the family bowl?

According to societal norms, the trick or treating fun traditionally becomes extinct after eighth grade. A number of cities in Virginia even have laws banning those over 12 from trick or treating. While the laws’ supporters argue they were implemented largely to combat teenage hijinks, most jurisdictions don’t strictly enforce them. And they shouldn’t.

There are a multitude of reasons why teens should be allowed- even encouraged- to trick or treat.

First off, there are safety reasons. It’s common sense to keep the less experienced teen drivers off the road when large numbers of sugar crazed children are running around in the dark. Mature teens out walking around could also help prevent less morally inclined kids from taking advantage of their younger peers.

This Halloween tradition also gives teens a positive alternative to more traditional tricks. A few decades ago, the Halloween motto of ‘trick or treat’ was taken much more literally. It was commonplace to hear of teens threatening to egg cars, toilet paper houses, throw firecrackers, and wreak general havoc if they didn’t receive candy as a bribe.

And trick or treating is just plain fun. There are many positive aspects of Halloween. It’s a unique holiday that allows people to express themselves by dressing up, creative expression that teens should be encouraged to continue throughout their lives. Not only do the teens get to be creative, but it can also be entertaining for adults to see the wide variety of costumes.

Trick or treating is also a great excuse to get together with friends and escape your high school stress for a few hours. Participants can go with groups and have fun with each other outside of school, developing friendships that can last a lifetime. Finally, trick or treating is a harmless activity for teens to engage in. The alternative might be gathering at parties where the activity could be drinking or other inappropriate behavior.

Of course, the many teens know the true reason to trick or treat this Halloween: free candy!

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