And for a positive and uplifting story for the season - nine-year-old Dane Best was able to successfully lobby his town board of Severance, Colorado to overturn a century-old ban on snowball fights.
Apparently, it had been illegal to throw a snowball within the city limits, part of a larger ordinance that made it illegal to throw or shoot stones or missiles at people, animals, buildings, trees, any other public or private property, or vehicles. Snowballs apparently somehow fell under the town's definition of "missiles," because of course they would. Dane found out about the law a month and a half ago. It was a well known law in town. According to the town administrator, Kyle Rietkerk, officials have been trying to get an elementary schooler interested in repealing that part of the ordinance's language for about four years. "All of the kids always get blown away that it's illegal to have snowball fights in Severance. So, what ends up happening is they always encourage the kids with, 'You have the power you can change the law.' No one has."
Until Dane. Dane got his class at Range View Elementary to write letters in support of the change to the ordinance and has been researching other city ordinances. At the town board meeting, he presented a list of reasons why the Severance Town Board should repeal the ordinance. "I think it's an outdated law. I want to be able to throw a snowball without getting in trouble."
I love this story. It's a great highlight of the power to change the laws, especially showing a child's introduction to the civic process.
It also acts as a highlight of the crazy ordinances we have across the country. Like it's illegal to play dominoes on Sunday in Alabama.
What's your favorite crazy law?