Age Is Not The Issue

I still read my university's newspaper. I'm not sure why, really - other than that little 'subscribe' in Google Reader is just too easy to hit.

Each year, it's the same set of crimes - some shootings near campus that don't involve Penn students, a bunch of muggings, the bank being robbed, and some violent crimes towards students. And really - I do think Penn security does a good job, but it's still West Philadelphia.

One of the recent incidents actually involves a Penn security officer:

The guard offered to escort the student from 38th and Sansom streets to her house, near 41st and Locust streets, at about 9:00 p.m. They arrived at her door, and he said something to get the student's attention. When she turned around, he had exposed himself.

The security guard, 21, was arrested shortly after the incident was reported and has permanently been removed from campus. He did not have a criminal record, Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush said.

Interesting, and upsetting to the student involved, but what really caught my attention is this:

Rush said the minimum age for security guards is being raised from 21 to 25 to ensure that guards are "mature enough" to handle the job.

Since it's not really acceptable for PR reasons for Penn to say "well, sh*t happens," Penn's trying to make a response. Do background checks? Already done - he didn't have a criminal record. Make the guards carry around IDs? Ok, but they've already caught the guy - that wasn't an issue here. Require guards to be 25 instead of 21? Yes! Now we're taking preventative action!

Right. Because boys don't learn until they've reached the age of 25 not to just whip it out in public. At 21, how could the guard have really known better? Bump up the minimum age to 25 and now we'll have guards "mature enough."

Is this legal? Yes. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) only protects people 40 and older from age discrimination. I love the irony in an age discrimination law that discriminates based on certain ages.

Though Penn's reaction abides by the words of the law, they are against the spirit of the act. Whether you're 21 or 25, guys know not to expose themselves - age is not the issue.