(WICHITA, Kan.)—Some registered sex offenders in California are suing to get an ordinance overturned so they can decorate their homes for Halloween.
Under the current rules in Simi Valley, California, registered sex offenders cannot set up decorations or have lights on outside their homes on Halloween. Some are required to post a sign on their doors, saying no treats or candy are offered at the home.
But now the ordinance is being challenged by a lawsuit from a group of five registered sex offenders and their families. They say the restrictions violate their freedom of speech.
"It's a hard call," said one Simi Valley resident, "I don't think it's necessary to put a sign, I do think it probably would be best not to have a light, and a pumpkin, open up come here." Others say parent supervision while kids are out trick-or-treating is the best way to keep them safe, and the ordinance is not necessary.
Other california communities have similar ordinances, but the lawyer bringing this lawsuit says he believes it's the first challenge to the restrictions.
In the past, Kansas has put restrictions on paroled sex offenders, but there are no specific laws banning sex offenders from decorating or handing out candy on Halloween. Law enforcement officials say concerned parents can utilize online resources to identify where sex offenders live in their neighborhood.