A homeowners association in Virginia punished two boys by banning them from the community’s swimming pool.
The Kingsbrooke HOA in Bristow issued a no trespass order for the boys’ role in damaging a "little library" box in October.
The boys — who were 11 and 13 at the time — were with a third child who punched in a library door and broke it. Books were tossed into the woods.
Police were called, but no charges were filed.
We're making it easier for you to find stories that matter with our new newsletter — The 4Front. Sign up here and get news that is important for you to your inbox.
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 sort of community service to make amends.
“We agreed that the kids should have to do community service in our neighborhood,” said Joni Blue, mother of one of the boys.
Instead, the HOA Board issued the no trespass orders in November.
Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia local news, events and information
Gadbois’ son, who has been on the swim team since he was 4, is barred from the Kingsbrooke pool and public areas until at least May 2022. The other child is barred 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 hard summer.”
The Gadbois family asked the board to reconsider its decision but after a recent meeting learned the board is standing by the original penalties.
“I don’t think the HOA should have that much authority,” Gadbois said. “I don’t think they should be the judge jury and executioner. I don’t think that’s their job.”
The HOA issued a statement, saying, “The Association Board of Directors is responsible for maintaining and preserving association property for the benefit of all members and residents. The Board is charged with the responsibility to take all necessary and appropriate action to preserve Association interests, mindful of all Association members’ rights and responsibilities.”
The boys’ parents are exploring legal action.
Both families also were charged $125 for the damage to the library and the books.