Hi Folks! Too soon to know if this is a trend or just an outrageous blip, but over in New South Wales — the Australian state Sydney is in — the authorities have passed a law that if you’re under 22 and want to work in one of the local “clubs” (that is, casinos), you have to pass a “BullyCheck.”
Yep. They call your old school to ask if you were a bully. If you were (or at least appeared to someone to be one), you won’t get the job. Ostensibly this is to convince kids that bullying has real consequences — though I’ve heard that it might just be window-dressing, to make the casinos look oh-so-upright. Either way, it’s a terrible idea, as this editorial notes.
First off, who decides what bullying is? At some schools, not inviting all the kids to your birthday party is already teetering on the edge of cruelty.
Then there’s the problem of assuming people don’t grow and change. My friend just got an apology from a girl who tormented her in high school, lo, 35 years ago! People mature at different rates. Punishing a 22-year-old for what he or she was like in high school is not only wacky, it’s profoundly pessimistic.
Worst of all is the treating bullying that never rose to the level of a crime as if it did. It is giving perception and hearsay legal weight, the same as if the job applicant had been convicted of forgery or embezzlement. And in this era of heightened bully fears, MY fear is that we will start defining it downward, and someday someone will be denied a job for calling his friend a doody-head. - L.
Filed under: Bad Laws, Rules and Verdicts, School and Zero Tolerance and Bullies, Uncategorized Tagged: | anti-bullying, Australia bully, bully overkill, bully overreaction, bullying, laws against bullies, NSW bully law