‘Chicken Little’ mentality

Dear sir:
I noted in the paper that the BIA has declined to continue with the “Scott Street Scare.” My reaction was “Good!”
It always seemed a little odd to me that Hallowe’en had become an event for children, organized by adults. Perhaps we can return to the traditional way of having children visiting their friends and neighbours so that all can share in the fun and wonder of Hallowe’en.
I know I will welcome more children at my door without the “Scott Street Scare”—and I look forward to it. I want the children in my neighbourhood to know who lives in the house on the corner or across the street.
But I also note Ms. McNay’s reaction of dismay; she says it is “not safe” for children to go door-to-door trick-or-treating. When did this happen? What is it that’s “not safe?”
This is Hallowe’en! It should be the safest night of the year! Everyone in the community is looking out for children that night! Why is it “not safe?”
Is this the same “not safe” that stops children from walking to school, or playing in their yard or on their streets? Is it the “not safe” which means children only can play in the park on certified “safe” swings and slides and climbing equipment with an adult present?
Is it the “not safe” of climbing trees or riding a bicycle, or playing in empty lots or walking through fields? “Not safe” to smile at strangers or talk to adults?
Does stating it’s “not safe” make it so?
How sad that we are reduced to this “Chicken Little” mentality! That fear of every worse case can stop us from allowing our children to go out and face the world and learn how to cope with it, in all its complexities.
This over-protective attitude, however well-intentioned, produces people who are fearful, uncertain, and dependent, who will grow up to be suspicious, unco-operative, self-centered, oblivious of community responsibility, and unwilling to risk anything.
Is this what we want? Do we really believe it is “not safe” in Fort Frances?
Let’s take back Hallowe’en; when those voices sing out “Trick or Treat,” choose “treat.”
Sincerely,
Val Martindale
739 Riverview Dr.
Fort Frances, Ont.

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