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Dear Editor,
    I remember it like it was yesterday, but it was Oct. 31, 1987. I was 15 and going “out” on Halloween night. The last thing my father told me as I was walking out the door was, “Don’t be throwing eggs.”
    About four or five hours later I called him from the police station to come pick me up. He asked why, to which I answered, for throwing eggs. “Well you can just stay there!” Click. He responded in an angry voice that was reserved for my biggest screw ups.
    One of my fellow juvenile delinquents had called his mom and she came to get us all out of jail. I was walking out of the police station when my mom and dad pulled up. He took me home and gave me a very thorough whipping as I bent over the couch in the den. He might still be going had my mom and aunt not been there to intervene. Turns out, that was the worst and last whipping my dad ever gave me.
    Once he was done, he sent me out to clean up the vehicle we were riding in. After that task was completed, we headed to the people’s homes that I vandalized so I could clean them up. It was close to midnight by this time.
    I can’t believe I was stupid enough to open my mouth, but I did. “Daddy you need to go pick all the kids that were with me up and make them help me,” I said. His response was pretty simple, “I’m not worried about them, they’re not mine”.
    Fast forward 25 years. It’s homecoming week, and I’m a father. My children want to go rolling houses with toilet paper. I can’t really even believe they would bother to ask, but they did. I, of course, said no, as I have for the last two or three years. “Well all the other kids get to go rolling dad!” they explained.
    My two oldest children are 11 and 13, and they are asking me to let them go vandalizing homes since all their friends are doing it and have been for several years. How is this possible, you might ask. Because their parents start carrying them around to vandalize houses in about the fourth grade.
    I’m serious. Things that I got my butt tore up for 25 years ago, parents are now condoning and actually facilitating. Now understand, I don’t have a real big beef with the kids. I expect kids, mine included, to do this type of thing when they are able to drive and leave their homes unsupervised. I also expect their parents to punish them for this type of behavior when they get caught.
    As you have probably figured out by now, my home was vandalized this week by children who were driven there by a parent. “It’s good clean fun,” they say. Well, it’s not really fun to me, and it’s sure not fun when I’m out there cleaning it up. It’s not fun to my neighbors who have to clean their yards up as well, even though they do not have school children.
    The fact is, it’s against the law, and it sets the stage for escalation. What kids think is fun in the fourth-sixth grades will no longer be fun later on. It has already escalated. I was told that another parent’s car had Vaseline smeared all over it. What is the next step?
    “Oh, but it’s homecoming week.” I didn’t really realize that the laws changed during homecoming week. I didn’t realize that respecting other people’s property took the week off for homecoming.
    I don’t know what it is going to take to make people realize this is a stupid and dangerous tradition. I ask parents to please get this under control. There is absolutely nothing good that can come out of this, and the bad things that can arise are infinite.


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