Her treats are sweet, but they don’t come free
by Kim Isaza
October 31, 2012 12:58 AM | 6650 views | 44 44 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Taylor stands with some of the neighborhood kids who visit her house each year.<br>Staff/Todd Hull
Taylor stands with some of the neighborhood kids who visit her house each year.
Staff/Todd Hull
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MABLETON — Mableton resident Kayla Taylor has supersized treats waiting for angels, superheroes, witches and other costumed kiddos who visit tonight — but the trick-or-treaters are going to have to earn them.

Taylor has alerted her neighbors in the Anne Place subdivision that before she hands out her traditional giant-sized Hershey’s bars, kids ages 3 to 5 will have to say the Pledge of Allegiance, and older trick-or-treaters will have to correctly answer one of 10 civics questions.

Taylor thought up the idea about three weeks ago, she said.

“I was getting ready to buy the candy, and I thought, let’s do it a little different this year. Plus, it’s an election year,” said Taylor, a jazz singer.

So far, she says, the reaction from parents and kids has been swell.

“I was kind of nervous people might be upset, but I’ve gotten lots of emails and Facebook tags,” she said. “They’re all supportive.”

Neighbor Kerry Flading said her three children —Elizabeth, 9; Luke, 7; and Katherine, 4 — are happy to oblige.

“I think it’s great, and the kids do too, so that’s even better,” Flading said. “It’s good that it’s coming from somebody other than their parents or teachers.

“She’s really into making sure the kids respect where we live, and be respectful for what soldiers are doing for us,” Flading said. “With her not having children, this is her way of helping the kids and just making sure they’re a little bit patriotic. They all have the utmost respect for her. And I’m glad she makes them earn what they’re getting. That’s a pretty good treat.”

Decorating her house for Halloween is also a treat for Taylor, a 1985 graduate of South Cobb High, but that won’t start until after the neighborhood kids get on the school bus this morning.

“There’s lots of scary ghouls, and lighting, fog, and music,” she said. “When my nieces and nephews were coming to trick or treat, I thought I should do some decorations, so I made tombstones and wrote silly things on them. They thought it was great, so the next year I had to do more. Every year now, some new prop enters the arena.”

Zach Connolly, 15, who lives in the neighborhood and is a sophomore at North Cobb High School’s magnet program, said Taylor “always has one of the best houses for Halloween.”

And the civics questions she emailed — such as “What do we celebrate on July 4?,” “What was the Mayflower?” and “Who gave the Gettysburg Address?” — are no sweat, he said.

“Honestly, I think it’s really good for her to do this,” Zach said. “Most people just open the door and try to hurry it out. She’s trying to interact with kids and is being a lot friendlier.”

And just in case, Taylor does have gummy eyes on standby for kids who can’t say the pledge or correctly answer a question.

“You can’t be a Scrooge to kids on Halloween,” she said.

 

Comments
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Andrew M
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November 01, 2012
I am a bit shocked by the many ignorant comments that some of the people here have posted. One of the downsides to the internet is that it allows cowardly bullies to hide behind the anonymity of their computer screen to hurl baseless insults. Grow up! I live in Kayla's neighborhood. Each year I see her spend days preparing and decorating her house for Halloween. She does this solely for the enjoyment of the neighborhood kids. The kids LOVE it! Further, she takes the time and makes the effort to talk to and interact with each and every kid that knocks on her door. Each kid that leaves her house feels special. As for the pledge, not one kid that I saw last night had any problem with it. In fact, just the opposite is true. The kids I saw had a great time with it and were extremely excited about the monster candy bar that they received. I suspect that the the vast majority of the negative posters here have a problem with the "pledge" itself. To them I say, if you don't like it, don't say it.
surrounded by idiots
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November 01, 2012
Anyone who has an issue with this must be a Democrat. Only Democrats look for a handout and expect to do nothing in return.

MAY-RETTA SURVIVOR
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November 01, 2012
I pledge allegance to the Flag of the United States of America, and the Repbblic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisable, with liberty and justice for all. Thanks, Kayla!
Spelling FAIL
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November 02, 2012
Allegiance - Republic - Indivisible
retrodude
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October 31, 2012
A great idea. Taylor has likely inspired some of these kids to consider some extremely important issues that the educational system is failing to expose them to. An appreciation for constitutional freedoms begins with a working knowledge, however rudimentary, of American history. If those kids are old enough to be visiting neighboring homes, then they're old enough to embrace some basic principles of good citizenship.. My guess is, none of them left Taylor's home empty-handed.
CRAIG!
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October 31, 2012
I've known Kaylabird over 20 years and I can assure you (with issues) she has no agenda, but fun and possibly a glimmer of hope that kids ACTUALLY KNOW things about the country.

I put out Jack-O-Lanterns with a sign "Take one and scram, Happy Halloween" I GET teens KICKING them down the street. And I'm in a nice neighborhood. THIS is the future that will run the country???

The Taylors obviously care about their neighbors...AND some your unfulfilled folks.

Agenda? Get a freakin life you doofus! What...are you 23 and STILL trick or treating???
KJ Morrison
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October 31, 2012
What is anyone's true problem with this besides having a reason to faceless attack someone? There isn't a true argument in here that isn't based on someone's opinion of what they think Kayla is doing and in no way based in fact or evidence. What are you truly worried about?

First off you can't put tidbits of knowledge wrapped around candy. Kids will quickly discard the paper and eat the candy. Really, what kid is going to look a piece of paper and go wow, the capital of Nevada is Carson City. They are going to say why the extra wrapper? and right into the trash.

People have the right to give out candy however they see fit. This country is founded on freedom and to tell someone they are wrong for doing something the way they choose is absurd. She paid for the candy and may distribute as she sees fit. Money earned and taxed.

Being 27th in education why not check to see how her tax money is being put to use? Her tax money pays for your children to go to school. Not to mention the fact that she pays a higher tax rate for your kids to go to school because she doesn't have children of her own to earn her a tax cut. People with children in school should be paying more, not less, since they are using more tax funded services. She is paying for her community's schools and should be able to see how her tax money is going to use. This, of course, isn't her reasoning for doing so, just my opinion on why it shouldn't matter again. This is something fun to help kids learn a little and make it a little different for the kids.

Anyone upset that this may embarrass a kid is really concerned that people will see that they send their kids to school to be taught by someone else and when they come home are told to do their homework and then left to be babysat by the TV or computer until bedtime. They are worried that, in their absence of their child's education, their kid won't know the answer and they aren't sure because they are not a part of their kids education. Sit down with your child once in awhile and make sure they are getting it. This of course is a generalization, but a problem for sure with everyone working longer hours and having long commutes.

Be happy she is even taking part. She could lock her door, cut out the lights, and pretend she isn't home at all. If you don't like what's happening you have the right not to go there. What you feel is right for your child is your choice. It isn't your privilege to tell someone else that she isn't entitled to her rights because you disagree with them. Freedom means freedom for all, no matter what, not just those you agree with and the things you feel are right.

The kids aren't going to care if they get asked a question. They will answer, right or wrong, get a piece of candy regardless and move on to the next house to pick up something else. Kayla would never do anything to try and embarrass a child or exclude them. The children of her neighborhood love her for a reason.

By the way Halloween isn't a kids holiday. In case you didn't read other post that point it out it was a pagan holiday based on the dead returning to the earth for one night and the end of the harvest season and preparation for the new year and the cold winter ahead. The fun commercialized kids holiday we know came about later. So don't say this is just another fun holiday for kids to mindlessly have fun and smash a few gourds after TPing someones house. The more kids are encouraged to have general knowledge the more they will retain it and make use of it.

Why are parents so afraid for their child doing something new? Are they concerned they are going to have to have a conversation with their child about it? Perhaps they will need to sit down and help their child do homework for a change? Children react to your prejudice, they don't have their own until you teach it to them. Encourage them to try, even if they fail.

And on the education point it is a holier-than-thou, not an. An is reserved for silent h sounds such as an hour.
CRAIG!
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October 31, 2012
Encourage" says it ALL! Something (it seems) some of being critical forget..."TRICK OR TREAT!
anonymous
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November 01, 2012
Geez, if you can drone on endlessly about something this trivial, imagine the novel you can write about something really important.
D.Lynch
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November 01, 2012
I agree 100% with KJ. What an incredible idea. Grown ups should take an active part in helping young kids that they know and have an influence in their lives.

Thank - You Kayla Taylor for caring about today's youth.

I wish my grand kids had you for their neighbor.

You make a difference! You rock!
anonymous
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October 31, 2012
I want to knock on a door and get something for nothing. If someone asks me to earn it or put forth a small effort then I will demonize them and make them seem “mean.”I will say this; you liberals stick to your core beliefs. If you do not like how she gives away her candy, do not go to her house.
VFP42
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October 31, 2012
I like the concept, but my goodness. Why have them recite government government propaganda? They get plenty of that at school.

Why not get them doing some math problems? Or make them read? From a book? (not a Bible.. They get plenty of that already!)

KJ Morrison
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November 01, 2012
Double government propaganda eh? Sounds serious.

I didn't know US History counted as propaganda. The point is even a basic knowledge of history is suffering so bad these days because everything is some current event that's forgotten in 13 hours. No one learns anything when they can just look it up as needed. Agree with the government or not, if you live here and enjoy the civil freedoms you have then know something of your past and appreciate what you have.

You enjoy the freedom to be able to believe as you choose so don't demonize the government that protects these rights for you. Sure it's flawed, but things could be abundantly worse.
fed up
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November 01, 2012
The Pledge of Allegiance is government propoganda? It makes me sick that thousands of soldiers have died to make our country free and to give us the freedom to say and believe whatever we choose. You may as well spit on the graves of all those soldiers. Ms. Taylor is free to celebrate Halloween however she chooses. If she chooses to ask a few questions that involve our great Nation, so be it. You, however, should take the next flight out to any other country you choose because you certainly don't respect living in the greatest country there is.
Indivisibleunderwear
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October 31, 2012
I'm going to give the girl trick-or-treaters 33% less candy the boy trick-or-treaters to help prepare them for life in a capitalist society.
bcar
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November 01, 2012
That is a wonderfully constructed sentence.
Bob Bummer
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October 31, 2012
This lady is a control freak.
Not a Bummer
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November 01, 2012
You have no idea who or what you are talking about. Not a control freak in the least.

Stopped by her house, the kids loved it and all took part without issue. Every child left with a good haul of candy.
Misplaced Activism
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October 31, 2012
We made it a kid's holiday through the years by marketing costumes and candy, etc. for the big night. Unfortunately, that's not enough for the fringe groups with an agenda. Like the Taliban, everything has to be subverted to comform to "their" view of reality. No different than religious extremists and politicians wanting to profit from their support who turned the pledge into something that promotes religion instead of good old patriotism.

It's not enough to support our country, we have to be made to conform to their religous tenets also. That's why my kids didn't do boy scouts, because it promotes religion and apparently pedophiles. Most of the atrocities in history have been in the name of religion and it continues today.

So the guy was right, it is propaganda at the expense of what has become a kid's holiday.
sterncrazy
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October 31, 2012
You are correct. What next? Should we make kids do pushups in advance to burn off all the sugar? It takes a real control freak to make the kids do the "tricks" for Halloween. Take your conformism and control issues to your shrink and let children have this old custom as a NIGHT OFF and good old-fashioned fun. We've been doing it this way for a long time for a reason - it's FUN! Buzzkill.

Mableton Parent
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November 01, 2012
What exactly is she promoting? Patriotism? Is that such a bad thing?

The kids enjoyed and all had fun with it. I'm certain you are saddened to hear that but the ones that took part had no issue.

Since you are against agendas and so on; this is no business of yours. If your chidren (if you have any) didn't go by Kayla's house, then this is no concern of yours.

And since you are not directly involved in this, shouldn't you keep you opinion to yourself like you are asking Kayla to do? Hypocrite
Carla33
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October 31, 2012
I live in Anne Place and I think it's a great idea that the kids will get a kick out of doing. When I was growing up I don't remember what I dressed as for Halloween but do I remember, and have fond memories of, the neighbors who went a step above and beyond just passing out candy. One neighbor always made you perform a silly trick in order to get a treat and his house was always the most popular while I was growing up.
kw05
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October 31, 2012
Get a life!! There are better things to worry about. There are people fighting for Kayla to have the right to do whatever she wants on Halloween! If she want them to say it, it's her house and her candy. People with a problem need to keep their kids away!
John C
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October 31, 2012
Way to go. This is something good for a change. Let people say what they may. This is still America and I say freedom of speech still a God given right. If you don't stand for something you'll fall for anything. Thanks for standing! If people don't believe in America and our constitution and the soldiers who died to defend our country, then let them leave !!!
Nutz to you
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October 31, 2012
So what does one do when a 2 or 3 year old comes up to your door, adorable and says "trick or treat"??

Guess,under the Taylor rule, no treat..

Glad all I ask my guests, yes guests, to do is have a happy face/smile and say "t or t".

Sorry, but Halloween is not about who knows.
lindseyd
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October 31, 2012
If you would read the article before you posted comments, you would see where Kayla has treats for everyone. "And just in case, Taylor does have gummy eyes on standby for kids who can’t say the pledge or correctly answer a question." Focus, people.
Treat Please
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October 31, 2012
We shy away from any type of friction and that is what in affect makes us grow and learn. People that are afraid to ask a child a question in case they get embarrassed doesn't know Kayla. She is the sweetest person I know and would never embarrass a child. She will make them feel proud that they answered or attempted to answer a question. I can totally see kids sharing answers in hopes to get a candy bar, and I think that is part of the fun! This isn't a political test here folks, but others are making it out to be. Shouldn't matter what party you support.
Father Horton
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October 31, 2012
Kayla is a personal friend of mine and I've known her for many, many years. I guarantee you that she does not have an "agenda" or trying to get people to buy into "government propaganda". What an absurd comment thread. Saying that the Pledge of Allegiance to your country is propaganda is asinine.

It's a shame that someone actually does something admirable to build patriotism and respect for their country and help reinforce solid values into an otherwise worthless holiday, and these are the responses that the trolls come out with.

Yet another person who believes that the holiday is about getting handouts without the need to actually do anything for it. Gee, there's a parallel here, but I can't seem to put my finger on it.
Wait what
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October 31, 2012
Handouts? Please.

Clearly people don't realize the tradition behind the saying "trick or treat?" The power is in the kids' hands. Not yours.

Oh, brother!
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October 31, 2012
No, Halloween is not a holiday about "getting handouts without the need to actually do anything for it." All one has ever had to do is say "Trick or Treat", not the Pledge of Allegiance or answer any questions. Can't a simple child's holiday just stay the way it is?
Trick or Trick
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October 31, 2012
Halloween should be for ALL kids, regardless of what they know about US History. I personally think that the spirit of Halloween should be divorced from personal agenda and not be used as a tool of any sort. BUT if the goal is to educate, why not provide them with information wrapped around each candy or something instead of quizzing them and causing potential embarrassment or shame to a little kid?

These aren't your children and this is not the forum.
Renee47
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October 31, 2012
As a resident of Anne Place, I can assure you that the kids in our neighborhood love and respect Ms. Taylor and will gladly answer questions that she--or anyone else, for that matter--asks of them. I also know that this is all done in good fun. If you don't like it her approach to giving out HER Halloween treats, please don't bring your kids to our subdivision to trick-or-treat!
Cobb Watcher
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October 31, 2012
I guess kids who no longer say the pledge of allegiance out of protest against the indefinite detention of Americans are out of luck. Hopefully they could answer a question about our Bill of Rights or maybe a question about civil liberities.
lindseyd
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October 31, 2012
Wait, there are kids ages 3-5 who no longer say the pledge out of protest against the indefinite detention of Americans? I would think if they're that advanced they probably don't want candy anyway. World peace, maybe.
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