Dollard-des-Ormeaux mayor Ed Janiszewski isn’t unusual. He’s like a lot of suburban mayors. But that doesn’t make his ideas less silly.
In a bid to stop those Evil Teenagers Up To No Good (TM), Dollard’s council passed a new by-law prohibiting loitering in public areas of the town.
“Loitering” has always been one of those terms I found odd. It sounds bad, like something a drug dealer or gang member would do. But what is it, exactly? Well, technically, “loitering” means “being somewhere just because you feel like it.”
Now, you might think a law forbidding people from standing in a public place without a grown-up reason would seem somewhat unconstitutional. In fact, such laws have been declared unlawful in the U.S. But still they persist. Businesses and other institutions have “no loitering” signs posted outside, and laws are drawn up with complicated definitions to try to outlaw something which feels illegal but is not actually a violation of any law.
The logic is best explained by this Janiszewski quote:
“Kids aren’t all bad. They need to hang out, to be with their peer group, but it shouldn’t be in public. They should be at their home or at somebody else’s home.”
Yes, folks. Dollard’s mayor doesn’t want kids hanging out in public.
Next time adults wonder why kids feel alienated or rebellious, maybe they might consider that adults are taking away kids’ rights to be kids.