One local sheriff’s office in Georgia is helping parents and kids know which houses to avoid on trick-or-treat night. In Butts County, Georgia, you can spare yourselves the awkward process of just skipping that house that gives you the creeps, because the sheriff has very carefully and publicly identified that in many cases, you just aren’t allowed to trick-or-treat there.
Butts County Sheriff Gary Long says Georgia law prevents sex offenders from participating in Halloween, including decorating their property and handing out candy. But, just in case they weren’t feeling inclined to obey the law on trick-or-treat night, his office decided to make sure no kids would dare darken their door. A Facebook post by the Sheriff’s office announced:
As Sheriff, there is nothing more important to me than the safety of your children. This Halloween, my office has placed signs in front of every registered sex offender’s house to notify the public that it’s a house to avoid. Georgia law forbids registered sex offenders from participating in Halloween, to include decorations on their property. With the Halloween on the square not taking place this year, I fully expect the neighborhoods to be very active with children trick-or-treating. Make sure to avoid houses which are marked with the attached posted signs in front of their residents. I hope you and your children have a safe and enjoyable Halloween. It is an honor and privilege to serve as your sheriff.
(These signs are placed In accordance with Georgia Law O.C.G.A. 42-1-12-i(5) which states the Sheriff shall inform the public of the presence of sexual offenders in each community)
Sheriff Gary Long
And there you have it! In most cases, I’m not a fan of public shaming, but I gotta admit that this does NOT make me mad. As a parent…I do want to know what sex offenders are living in my neighborhood and where. We get postcards in the mail when one moves in my home state of Ohio, but that’s not super easy to remember on trick-or-treat night. Plus, what if one already lived there when you moved to the neighborhood and you had no idea?
Sadly, in our porn-filled culture, sex offenders are everywhere…and I don’t want them passing out candy to my kiddos on trick-or-treat night. It’s sad that the Butts County Sheriff’s Office had to go to this extreme, but it’s very hard these days to fully protect our kids from sex abuse. I consider these signs just another buffer between a child and a devastating act which could alter the course of their lives.
What do you think of the “No trick-or-treat” signs? Community protection or one step too close to shaming?