Six Flags may refuse to let sex offenders in parks

Posted Friday, May 20, 2005 10:53 AM | Contributed by Chitown

A move by Six Flags to protect park visitors from sex offenders and convicted criminals is being hailed by industry observers but questioned by some legal experts. The new rule, printed on all season passes, states park officials may refuse admission or revoke the passes of registered sex offenders and convicted criminals who violate park safety and security rules.

Read more from The Daily Herald.

Friday, May 20, 2005 2:27 PM
Don't they have the right to do that to anybody who violates policy? If you break the rules, they can bump you.
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Friday, May 20, 2005 4:06 PM
It's a blurry line...

Six Flags is a private business, and as such should be able to admit / reject any patron they choose. However, in our litigeous society, if Six Flags were to reject a patron, they may open themselves to a lawsuit for "discrimination."

Dumb, if you ask me. It's another example of our legal system encroaching on an individual (or businesses) right to do business as they please.

d8

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Friday, May 20, 2005 5:04 PM
Would you say the same if Six Flags wanted to keep black people out? Businesses shouldn't have a right to discriminate against people. I know the term sex offender sounds so horrible. So we feel its ok to discriminate against horrible people. Things aren't always so simple. I've heard of 18 year olds getting labeled sex offenders for relationships with 16 or 17 year olds. Would you say its fair to discriminate against them?
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Friday, May 20, 2005 5:30 PM
Big difference, Kryten... You CANNOT be discriminant against someone due to race, sex, handicap, marital status. The Gold's Gym I used to go to terminates contracts if you are suspected of using steroids or growth horomone. Is that discriminating? Or is it protecting people from being exposed to such things? Movie theaters won't allow kids under 17 into R-rated movies, with or without parental permission. Are they discriminating? Or are they using their judgement that such material isn't suitable for kids? Six Flags may refuse admission to sex offenders and convicted criminals. Is that discrimination? Or is it protecting their target audience of families with small children? Your other example of people being labeled sex offenders as 18 year olds for having relationships with 16 or 17 year olds is kinda off, too... Statutory rape is the law, end of story. If the relationship is mature enough that sex would come into play, then the participants should be mature enough to know that its illegal. Ignorance is not an excuse.
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Friday, May 20, 2005 5:53 PM
So you're telling me that an if two highschool sweethearts are as little as a year apart in age and a parent decides they don't like the relationship and push the issue that that person is instantly a threat to the children at a theme park.

I think Six Flags should stick to making sure their employees are securing harnesses and keeping the rides safe. Maybe they should make a rule that children under 18 should be accompanied by an adult. My kids and I feel more threatened by unruly kids and teenagers left to run wild by deadbeat parents than we are by possible sex offenders. I'm sure there are a few people here that like to smoke pot at parties. That's illegal. Does Six Flags have the right to discriminate against them? What about drunk drivers? Where do you draw the line?

This policy will be nearly impossible to enforce so its pointless to debate it. I just get a bit annoyed at people that think its ok to discriminate against other people. Some people would think its ok to discriminate based on race or religion. Maybe even a majority of the population in some areas. Just because the majority think its ok doesn't mean it right.

I was really arguing against du8die's point that it should be ok for businesses to discriminate against whoever they choose rather than the point that they should be allowed to discriminate against sex offenders.

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Friday, May 20, 2005 6:11 PM
As for your analogy about drunk drivers, is it discrimination to revoke their license after being convicted of DWI? Or is it smart, possibly preventing them from killing someone? Highschool sweethearts... Yeah, that's the argument that always comes up. "Well, we've been sleeping together since I was 13 and she was 12, now I'm 18 and she's 17, why should we not be allowed?" First, you've got other issues if that's the case... Second, its still the law. It doesn't matter if you're 77 years old and your husband who passed away 16 years ago is reincarnated and you find him at a mall as a teenager, I don't care... It's still illegal. And as for pot smokers, I find it really irritating when I'm stuck somewhere (in line for a coaster, for example) and I can smell people smoking up. Yes, its happened. And yes, it is illegal. So no, its not discrimination.
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Friday, May 20, 2005 6:50 PM
Desperate times call for desperate measures. I, for once, hail SF for this call but i think they know it wont hold up. I think they are just saying this to make their park more attractive to families. Although, i do wish they could keep these people out of their parks. They are filled with kids, you wouldnt want a sex offender around kids in a place where there are thousands of people and it is so easy for one to get lost.
Speaking of the pot smokers--i recall when GL first became six flags ohio i was in the line for superman, a guy was smoking it up (only time i have ever seen anyone do it at a park) and they line atendent either didnt notice or just let it go
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Friday, May 20, 2005 7:51 PM

Would you say the same if Six Flags wanted to keep black people out? Businesses shouldn't have a right to discriminate against people. I know the term sex offender sounds so horrible. So we feel its ok to discriminate against horrible people. Things aren't always so simple. I've heard of 18 year olds getting labeled sex offenders for relationships with 16 or 17 year olds. Would you say its fair to discriminate against them?

First things first, discrimination against someone who is a sex offender is nothing like discriminating against someone of another race. Why? The person of another race can not control what race they were born into. The Sex Offender had complete control of what they did, unless the person is mentally incompetent. In that case, they should be getting help. As for an 18 year old getting labeled a sex offender, tuff luck.

If you have sex with someone underage, even if you've been dating them since you were both underage, you still break the law. Is it okay to have sex with someone who is 17 if they're parents do not approve when you're 18? No. You face the consequences of the decisions you make. You're argument lacks merit.


So you're telling me that ... if two highschool sweethearts are as little as a year apart in age and a parent decides they don't like the relationship and push the issue that that person is instantly a threat to the children at a theme park.

It isn't as simple as you make it. I'm not going to get into moral issues with sex before marriage, but like I said, if you're 18 and you're dating a 17 year old, does that make it right to have sex with the 17 year old? Kids that age shouldn't be doing that anyhow, and if a parent does something about it, I say good for them! But that is still the price you pay for doing something illegal. If that means Six Flags doesn't want you there, Tuff Luck for you!


I was really arguing against du8die's point that it should be ok for businesses to discriminate against whoever they choose rather than the point that they should be allowed to discriminate against sex offenders.

Is it illegal for a business to discriminate? Not always. I pay my car note, if I don't want someone of another race, religion, national origin, or a registered sex offender, or someone with blond hair in my car, I don't have to allow them in there. That goes for most businesses in many areas. Is it right? Maybe not, but the business owner has as much right to an opinion as you do. But opinion does not make right. I say Kudos, SFI. I know it will be hard to enforce, that isn't the point. Not only was it a scare tactic, but it was really put on there so that SFI had more of a legal stance in case something ever does come up.*** This post was edited by TeknoScorpion 5/20/2005 7:59:04 PM ***

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Friday, May 20, 2005 8:23 PM
I'm not saying that businesses should be able to discriminate on the basis of sex / race, etc. Clearly, they shouldn't. I concede that I was not clear enough about that in my previous post.

That having been said, my general point is this. Six Flags has the right to do business with whom they please (within the law). They should be allowed to deny sex offenders access to their *private property* as they wish.

d8

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Friday, May 20, 2005 9:20 PM
WHY DID U HAVE TO USE BLACK PEOPLE AS AN EXAMPLE? IM BLACK SOMETHIN WRONG WIT IT? why dont u use white? indian? but to get away from that i agree wit 6flags do u want a sex offender or a 1st degree murderer sitting behind u on superman? or behind u in line ofr a water ride? hell no
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Friday, May 20, 2005 9:29 PM
and by 1 degree muderer i mean any convic. but anyway so u poeple want criminals sitting near u on a ride? standing behind on a line? i mean if thye have not dont nothin rong in 20yrs maybe but if they only been clean for like 5yrs that not enought they could snap bak and by sex offender i mean micheal jackson people 17yr old datin 18yr i could care less but i mean a 40yr ,30,20 maybe even 18yr old molestin 13yr olds or tryin to molest and rape them as young as 12 maybe even 17 but wat im tryin to say is it depends how bad the offense is i mean if u rape some1 oh no if u molestnooooo but like kiss i don no it depends how bad it is
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Friday, May 20, 2005 11:01 PM
Oh come off it. The original person used black as an example. Your posts make no sense, and no one is being racist here.
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Saturday, May 21, 2005 12:09 AM
The term "Sex Offender" does not even mean child molester. It can mean someone whose ex-girlfriend downloaded child porn on his computer, and then called the cops because she was jealous of another girl, which is why my best friend is in prison right now. This label is given to a person, no matter how long ago they had offended, even if they are no longer a "pervert". This label can be given to an innocent person wrongly convicted.

I really don't believe that there is a whole busload of perverts at the theme park waiting to fondle little Dick and Jane. I think that it is Media sensationalism. As the crime rate goes down, the perception of crime goes up. I am somewhat guilty of being overprotective of kids in my care when at parks, but at least I know that I have been conditioned by the media.

We know SF can't sort through everyone entering the park. I hope that SF isn't giving false security to guests by pretending to not allow "sex offenders" into their park. Do the parks really have such a huge problem with kid stalkers that they had to put such a rule in writing?

Has anyone here seenthe new movie "The Woodsman", starring Kevin Bacon? That was a hard movie to watch because of it's topic; highly recommended.

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Saturday, May 21, 2005 1:27 AM
Lady and gentlemen, we have an Ironic Quote of the Week!


“I have no idea why they decided to do this, other than it’s getting them a lot of ink in the paper,” said Andrea Lyon, a law professor at DePaul University in Chicago and president of the Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

"That's A-N-D-R-E-A...L-Y-O-N.. And did you get all my credentials? Yes, I said president, president of..."

-CO

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Saturday, May 21, 2005 6:52 PM
I think Dexter had a much better example of what I was trying to point out and that is that not all people labeled sex offender are dangerous to your children.

As for the person complaining that I used black people as an example, the reason that I used that example is because black people are a part of the population that have been discriminated against in the past. It wasn't right then and it isn't right now.

People should be protected against discrimination no matter who they are, even if you don't happen to like them. Once we allow people to discriminate against certain groups it wont be long before they start discriminating against others. Eventually they'll be discriminating against people based on simple things like race, religion, etc. We still have enough of that now. We don't need to encourage it.

Also just because Six Flags says they don't allow sex offenders that doesn't change anything. They really can't enforce it. In the end if your child is vicitimized while in the part you are at least partially to blame for not watching them and taking care of them.

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Saturday, May 21, 2005 9:58 PM
I really think other than just sex offenders, rednecks, and stupid people should not be allowed either. Personally I don't see what the deal is about, considering that NO ONE had noticed this for the past two months or so while these season passes have already been out.
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Sunday, May 22, 2005 12:23 AM
Hey SNL just made a joke about this, they said SF will ban sex offenders, but theres a problem, whose going to operate the rides? It was pretty funny.
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Sunday, May 22, 2005 1:09 AM
That is funny, but most parks usually do background checks. IOA had to know everywhere I had lived for my entire life and took fingerprints.
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Sunday, May 22, 2005 1:36 AM
I'm not sure where I stand on the issue. One one hand I have to say that maybe he has learned his lesson and he already served his time. (probaly not) and he really didn't do anything wrong at the park.

(Question for the world! If sex affenders are a problem (and they are) then what the heck are they doing out of jail in the first place)

However I have to give Six flags two thumbs up on this one because it is nice to see (for once) them trying to keep there parks ssafe.

2nd Question. Who or what is going to stop these people from buying single day tickets.

So maybe the bottom line is: that all of this is just a publicity stunt to show the media that six flags will do what ever it takes to keep there parks safe.

Wasn't it just a couple of years ago that two girls almost were raped at SFWOA? Maybe if this rule was in place maybe it wouldn't have happened. Or maybe it was just a single day ticket and this rule wouldn't have mattered.

So here's my challenge to Six Flags:

Keep up the efforts in trying to keep your parks safe. And for the people that are actually in your parks, be sure to staff enough secuirty to ensure the safety for eveyone else. Stoping people from coming in is one thing, however controling a large crowd is another. Also be sure to employe people that actully enforce the rules of the park and a lot of your problems will go away.

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