Highschoolers should be able to trick or treat judgement free


Ian Woodruff, A/V Editing Team

Trick or treating can be a big part of people’s lives, and some will continue the tradition for as long as they can. As a highschooler I’ve heard people say things like, “You’re too old to trick or treat” or “It’s weird to trick or treat as a teenager” to other highschoolers. Some people even blatantly refuse to give high schoolers candy while trick or treating. But people shouldn’t think this way.

There are valid concerns for why highschoolers should not trick or treat, such as they may take too much candy, use profane language around kids, or be impolite and inappropriate. But that does not represent all highschoolers: some are using Halloween to have a good time with friends and score some free candy. 

There are much worse things highschoolers could be doing on Halloween. They could celebrate with risky behavior like teepeeing a house or using illegal drugs. Trick-or-treating keeps teens from engaging in risky behaviors and lets them enjoy their Halloween. Highschoolers should be able to trick or treat if they want to without being judged. If we make fun of people for trick or treating or label them as weird they may turn to risky behaviors to celebrate the holiday.

A survey taken at Chamblee Charter High School stated that, “Of the 63 responses, 79% of students believe that trick-or-treating is fine for high schoolers to participate in. However, only 25% actually trick-or-treat.”

Loy Norrix sophomore Maddox Irons said, “Yes, of course! [Highschoolers should be allowed to trick or treat] I am going trick or treating this year!”

If trick or treating does not cause harm to others then it should be the high schoolers’decision whether they choose to participate in trick or treating or not.

Some city officials have created laws preventing teens over the age of 12 [unless accompanying their younger sibling] from trick or treating by threat of fines and possible jail time. There have also been laws about wearing masks that conceal your identity, or identifying days that collecting candy is forbidden. 

These laws sound absurd, but they stem from a wild Halloween night in Portsmouth Virginia in 1967. According to an article about the wild night on the website City Lab, in ‘The Towns Where Trick-or-Treaters May Run Afoul of the Law’, “One teenager flung a firecracker into a younger trick-or-treater’s bag, and another used a steak knife to stab a 14-year-old who stole a bag of candy.”

While these crime laws were put in place for good reason following a traumatic event, these events were a long time ago, and it is not fair to punish kids who are just trying to have a good night dressing up and walking around their neighborhood for candy. The crimes committed may have created concerns related to Halloween, but they were crimes that did not only pertain to trick-or-treating. These are crimes that could be committed outside of Halloween.

While some highschoolers may take too much candy or act inappropriately, not all highschoolers will. Parents should try to make sure their kids will act appropriately and not cause trouble. Some people are trying to enjoy trick or treating before they lose interest and move on to another part of their lives. Let highschoolers finish their Halloween experience on a good note so they can pass on the tradition to future generations.