A homeowners association in Virginia punished two boys by banning them from the community pool.
The Kingsbrooke HOA in Bristow issued a restraining order for the boys’ role in damaging a “small library” in October.
The boys – who were 11 and 13 at the time – were with a third child who knocked on a library door and broke it. Books have been thrown into the woods.
Police were called, but no charges were laid.
Jon Gadbois said his son was grounded for three weeks and wrote a letter of apology. Both families said they hoped the boys could do some kind of community service to redeem themselves.
“We agreed that the children should do community service in our neighborhood,” said Joni Blue, mother of one of the boys.
Instead, the HOA Board issued the trespassing orders in November.
Gadbois’ son, who has been on the swim team since the age of 4, is banned from entering the pool and public areas in Kingsbrooke until at least May 2022. The other child is banned until his 18th birthday.
“Imagine seven years of your life, you can’t go to the pool, you can’t go to the park,” Blue said. “It’s very difficult. It’s going to be a difficult summer.”
The Gadbois family asked the council to reconsider its decision, but after a recent meeting learned that the council was sticking to the original sanctions.
“I don’t think the HOA should have that much authority,” Gadbois said. “I don’t think they should be the judge, the jury, and the executioner. I don’t think that’s their job.
The HOA issued a statement, saying, “The association’s board of directors is responsible for maintaining and preserving the assets of the association for the benefit of all members and residents. The Board is charged with the responsibility of taking all necessary and appropriate measures to safeguard the interests of the Association, taking into account the rights and responsibilities of all members of the Association.
The boys’ parents are considering legal action.
The two families were also billed $ 125 for damage to the library and books.