Ame Solomon 0

Families opposed to the disturbing sign for the Central Vermont Community Players Nightmares on College Street Haunted House in Montpelier, Vermont.

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Dear Central Vermont Community Players, We are opposed to the sandwich boards placed around Montpelier, Vermont that advertise the Central Vermont Community Players "Nightmares on College Street" haunted house. The larger-than-life clown head with blood-flecked lips is overly-scary for younger children and we request that sandwich boards in the public right-of-way be self-censored so that they are appropriate for all ages. We realize that it is too late for this request to affect this year's haunted house, but we ask that when you consider your public advertising for your fundraiser next year, please post with words only or graphics that are respectful of all ages in our community. The nightmare clown head is very disturbing to younger children, especially those who have intentionally been sheltered from television and horror films. It is not age-appropriate for all, and since it is posted in public view, we cannot shelter our children from seeing it. That image belongs inside the haunted house, not on the sidewalk on the way to the elementary school. According to one Montpelier area mother, "Even my 5th grader thinks that clown poster is too much and I'm beginning to dread every year all things Halloween related. It's way over the top with gruesomeness and downright scary for little ones." And another area mother said, "I do not think it is appropriate to be posted so largely and in public. My daughter is scared of it." One local dad said "Frankly, it scares me, let alone my kids. Why these people didn't self-censor out of respect for families with little kids is beyond me." We recognize that you have free-speech rights and may be allowed to put something like this out in the public eye, but that doesn't mean that you should or that it is considerate of our community as a whole. We understand that the sandwich boards are intended to be scary, to generate interest in the haunted house. But a balance needs to be struck in the public space that we all share. The Central Vermont Community Players' legitimate desire to promote your "Nightmares on College Street" fundraiser should not trump our right to bring our 2 through 10-year-olds downtown without giving them nightmares. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Montpelier area mothers, fathers, and children.

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