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Lawrence

How does banning or rescheduling Halloween work in actual practice?

Net Denizen

You remind me of a conversation I had with some small-town republicans at a County Fair back when I was still with my ex-wife. This would have been in the early Bush years while Ashcroft was still AG and Powell was Secretary of State. She was sent to this fair to run a booth for her job at a non-profit which helped people get food at a severe discount so they could focus on things like eating and providing for their families without the hassle of wasting their food stamps on decidedly non-nutritious foods.

Anyway, their booth was catty-corner to the county republicans so I went to talk to them because I am the kind of person who enjoys discussion even if I know ahead of time that I will disagree. And the guy running the booth had the usual trope about "Why should I pay taxes to go to schools when I don't have any kids or grandkids in school?" He then proceeded to relate how a bunch of school kids came through and he pointed to each of the portraits hanging in their booth (they had portraits of the entire senior level cabinet on the back wall of the booth). He pointed to Bush and the kids knew who the president was. He pointed to Cheney and got blank stares. Ashcroft, Powell, Rice, etc all blank stares. Even the state Senators and the local House member -- blank stares. This was evidence to him that his tax dollars were not being spent well and he shouldn't have to pay them anymore.

Since we were there representing my wife's job she didn't want me to lay into this guy for his lack of understanding how education is supposed to work. Like you, we were all there for a specific reason and that reason was to NOT get into political fisticuffs.

Lance Mannion

Lawrence,

As for the banning, if I recall it right, they weren't able to pull it off. I don't remember if they didn't have the votes or if there was enough of an outcry to make them back down. I don't think they thought it through either and had a plan for enforcing it. Maybe they thought the good citizens of the town would just honor it or maybe they planned to send out the cops. If I get a chance I'll look it up.

As for re-scheduling, that's pretty easy. There just has to be an official announcement put out through the right people. The mayor or supervisor or the police chief calls up the local paper and TV stations and the word goes out from there. Assuming it doesn't happen on the weekend, the best people to tell are the principals of the schools. That's how Pop Mannion handled it. Nowdays, too, towns and municipalities all have websites, so they news can be posted there. And basically all you say is something along the lines of "Due to [insert unforeseen circumstance here], kids should trick or treat on [date, day] instead of on the 31st." Somehow the message gets around and the candy gets given out. Nobody gets in trouble, though, for going out on the "wrong" night.

A few years ago, though, towns around here cancelled it altogether. We had a blizzard that knocked out the power for miles and miles all around. It was out for days in some places. I think there didn't even need to be official announcements, people just kept their kids home.

Lance Mannion

Net Denizen, I know the type you mean. The trouble is they turn out to vote in every election. They're the reason when I was growing up our school district had to put their budget up voters' approval two and even three times every year. That type came out in force. Parents of kids in the schools didn't come out as strong until it was driven home that the budget wasn't going to pass without their votes. That's when I learned that it's the people who are maddest and resent the most are the ones you can always rely on to vote.

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