By Marc Ridgell ‘19
“Trick or Treat!” are the words of millions of children across America on October 31. Now, imagine a typical Halloween situation and you open the door to frantic children ringing your doorbell asking for candy. When you open the door, you see children dressed in the typical Cinderella or Batman costumes, carrying a bright orange jack-o-lantern pail full of thousands of grams of sugar in candy form.
Yes, this scene is quite common; scenarios similar to this appear in Halloween commercial ads and spooky movies or TV shows. On the other hand, if a 17-year- old high school student by himself goes trick-or- treating, you might probably think “What is this kid doing? He’s too old for this.”
According to CNN, 41 million children ages five to fourteen went trick-or-treating in 2015. Now that it is 2017, those numbers probably have grown. In this statistic, since it only went up to age fourteen, one can assume kids usually stop going trick-or- treating after they complete eighth grade. But the question is – why? Do those incoming high-schoolers feel like it is embarrassing? Are they too cool for trick-or-treating? Do their parents say that they can not go anymore? These are the questions that I asked myself and some of my fellow peers.
Personally, I think that teens should always be able to trick-or- treat. There should never be an age limit on trick-or- treating because for teens, it is one more thing that helps us remember our youth. However, there are hazards with teens trick-or-treating. Instead of teens behaving innocently like little children, they can be disrespectful on Halloween – such as egging or “TPing” a house. Behaviors involving vandalism in the community are always lawfully and morally wrong. If teens are respectful to their community, I think trick-or-treating is okay.
I asked a few of my junior classmates, teens themselves, about their opinions about whether or not they think teens should be allowed to trick-or-treat. I was astonished to find that, out of the five interviewed, three said no.
Nick Christiano said, “No because no one wants to give candy to teens.” Jack McShane, said, “No, because it is for good children.”
The last “no” came from Patrick Hynes; he said that it would be somewhat outlandish to the people giving out candy to see a teenager at the door, instead of the younger child that they are expecting.
On the other hand, my classmates Nick Cole and Nolan Greene believed that teens should be able to trick-or- treat. Nick said, “Yes, because we are still children and we shouldn’t be discriminated against because of our age.” Nolan exclaimed, “I think they should be able to do whatever they want.”
Surprisingly, there are many conflicting viewpoints about whether teens should be able to trick-or-treat or not. Although it may be awkward when teens trick-or-treat, they should be able to do so because there is no law that puts an age limit on trick-or-treating, nor is it ethically wrong for teens to trick-or-treat. However, I can agree with my classmates about why they believe teens should not trick-or-treat; for example, it will be unusual asking someone for candy when you are not a little child. All in all, those reasons should not prohibit teens from trick-or-treating because we all want to be festive and have fun like we did when we were younger.
Source: Roberts, Amy. “Halloween 2015 by the Numbers.” CNN, Cable News Network, 30 Oct. 2015, www.cnn.com/2012/10/30/living/halloween-by-the-numbers/index.html.