Could sex offenders be prevented from celebrating Halloween?

Norwalk officials discuss legislation.
Scott Seitz2
Oct 27, 2013


Could Norwalk city council members ever consider adopting legislation that would prevents registered sex offenders from celebrating Halloween?

That's just what the village of Orwell, which is located east of Cleveland, recently did.

According to that village's ordinance, "Sex offenders are required to leave all exterior residential, decorative and ornamental lighting off during the evening hours, beginning at 4 p.m. until midnight; refrain from decorating his or her front yard and exterior of the residence with Halloween decorations; and refrain from answering the door to children who are trick-or-treating." If the ordinance is violated, the person will be charged with a misdemeanor.

Norwalk council members and the city law director discussed their feelings about such a law for a story published in the Reflector last week.



I thought sex offenders had to stay a certain footage from children


Sex offender as in child molester? or with this apply to all sex offenders? Sex offender is such a broad term and can even include public urination. Or would the term sexual predator be more accurate to use?

swiss family

it is unfortunate that they do not display he entire article here. In the written paper.. it says how someone in council brought up the question about sex offenders and Halloween, as usual, someone then said that they did not think it was a problem. then someone else said that he thinks that everyone knows who live in their neighborhood, then someone else says that most kids are accompanied by their parents, then someone else asked what about people that live with a sexual predator, how and if thy can still pass out candy might be an issue... and on and on, as in what looks like a really sad trend that council seems stuck in.

I seem to be noticing a disturbing trend in city council, where some really good and important issues are brought up, only to have, so many excuses made by some of the most experienced and most admired council persons, that it is shot down further and further until everyone decides and decrees that the problem might need some actual thought and action to resolve it, and no one wants to do that.. so it is decided that there is nothing they can do.

I long for a current city council filled with the people who we have now, but with them sitting there as they were when they were running for that position, where they were very vocal about the problems and solutions to those problems, and still full of questions with answers as well, as to accomplish a resolve.To me it seems as though , the entire council has become stagnant,they have transformed as most politicians do, going from seeking answers to current problem, full of ideas, and energy to reach a resolve to the problems, to morphing into a panel that sees the problems and throws enough negative comments at the problem to either drop it, or form a committee to try to find even the most obvious solutions....I think it is sad to see what our council has morphed my opinion


unbelievable.. I agree sex offenders should be watched around children, I agree we as parents need to keep our children safe. Beginning at 4 p.m. until midnight refrain from decorating his or her front yard and exterior of the residence with Halloween decorations is rediculious .If you dont want them handing out candy fine.or most of us know where the offenders live,if not check the huron co sheriffs web page. Just dont go to their homes ! I just dont get it. How is not allowing them to decorate going to do anything? Next thing you know, its going to be christmas, easter, and any other holiday the city feels like offenders should'nt celabrate. Makes no sense to me .

swiss family

@beatle.I do agree with you concerning the decorating of the yards, I don't see what value that , doing that would do... I have to disagree with you though concerning your statement that "most of us know where the offenders live". I remember going trick or treating as a kid, and I know that I ran as fast as possible to gt to as many houses as possible. I ran to areas outside of my own neighborhood to get to the "rich neighborhoods" where they passed out the better candy

I would pretty much bet , that if you went to any neighborhood that has at least one sexual predator living close by.The neighbors on either side of them hopefully would know, but I am guessing that the people on the back side of their block have no idea who lives where and if they are a predator or not..I like the idea of identifying all sexual predators all of the time. I know and have learned how many sexual predators live on the main routes to and from our schools, and our kids are innocently walking past them every day, totally unaware of the fact that they are in a danger zone, and their parents also have no idea as well... I would like to see identifying signs displayed in their yards so parents and kids all know their locations. Afterall, we do it for habitual drunk drivers, so that everyone knows the danger they carry, so why not protect or kids as well


The headline alone is worth votes to many of the council members.So I think this entire discussion is toying with a popular topic a few weeks prior to an election.These council members have NO intention of addressing this issue prior to the election.When it comes to a child's safety I wouldn't split hairs.If a person is a sex offender of ANY SORTS I don't want my kids around them. I damn sure don't want their candy.

ShellyStow's picture

Reform Sex Offender Laws, Inc. (RSOL) calls on the media to reevaluate the sensationalized reporting of law-enforcement’s annual Halloween activities that are purportedly intended to keep children safe from registered sex offenders.

Every Halloween, teams of reporters fan out across the nation filming multi-agency task forces as the officers check up on registered sex offenders. These grandstanding tactics utilized by law enforcement do little if anything to protect children, but they are very effective in creating unnecessary fear, especially in parents of young children. Fanning the flames regarding virtually non-existent threats is detrimental to public safety because precious law enforcement resources are needlessly diverted away from known and legitimate threats.

Sources confirm that the greatest increased risk to children at Halloween is from pedestrian/automobile accidents.

“According to the Center for Disease Control, children ages 5 to 14 are four times more likely to be killed by a pedestrian/motor-vehicle accident on Halloween than on any other day of the year.” ( http://voice-of-reason.pbworks.c... )

“More than twice as many children are killed in pedestrian/vehicle accidents on Halloween 4:00pm and 10:00pm as compared to the same hours on other days throughout the year.” (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Fatality Analysis Reporting)

RSOL suggests increased traffic patrols and bicycle and foot patrols in neighborhoods where there are many trick or treaters would address the actual risks better than unnecessary hype about the threat of sex offenders. Despite all the hype, hysteria, and mass allocation of resources, RSOL has not unearthed a single, documented case of a child abduction on Halloween by anyone on the registry.

Academic studies support the fact that there is no increased risk of sexual harm to children on Halloween. “There were no significant increases in sex crimes on or around Halloween, and Halloween incidents did not evidence unusual case characteristics. Findings did not vary across years prior to and after these policies became popular.”

RSOL calls upon law enforcement across the nation to show the responsibility and the dedication to protect and serve with which it is entrusted. Turn from the hysteria; refuse to be a part of the hype; do that which will actually better protect children this Halloween.

frea736's picture

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