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  • #16
    Originally posted by ThomasJefferson View Post
    ...I am very comfortable with the decision to remove all of the youth involved and rejection of the appeal. Sorry, but I don't want my son in a scout unit with those involved. ...
    TJ - It is very optimistic thinking that staying away from "the snakes you know" will keep your son from being bitten. You're a greater person of faith than you realize.

    S98 - As you can see, SM's go out on a line even when reinstating a boy with a bad reputation (no matter how undeserved) may result in other members leaving the troop. It's going to be tough on all parties involved even national approves your paperwork. All the best to your boy.


    • #17
      Originally posted by Basementdweller View Post
      In the zero tolerance era of sexual misconduct I can see why the membership got pulled. I would assume both boys memberships were revoked. This could be our future with gay youth possibly being allowed membership.....
      This isn't a gay issue. It's a teenage boy issue.

      Along Packsaddle's comment, I really do hope you didn't feel pressured by me; my sarcasm was directed at the process, not at you, Scout_98. Maybe someone with "supermoderator" under their name can delete your post if you want.
      I can definitely see how the hammer came down hard and swift, but anyone who works with youth and doesn't have scales on their eyes knows this is common (maybe not on camping trips, but in general) and normal, and doesn't indicate homosexuality any more than if the kid wore a salmon-colored shirt one day. The historical and sociological events that have led to this sort of black/white, alarmist, gay/straight attitude about these things is too long to get into. Whoever the sympathetic SM is, that's a virtuous and brave man.
      I have to agree with BasementD as far as the scope; I certainly hope that your son wasn't singled-out out of 3 actors. And I hope that if you were given assurances re: the psych's statement that they'll be honored now that you have the statement. As far as Kristian's point about money on appeals, I have a feeling that in 4 weeks once they've voted on this membership resolution the whole thing will be a non-issue, anyway.

      As for those who know anything about the process, I am still confused as to the order of operations that seems to have taken place. If the decision was made by National, could a Regional appeal have mattered in the first place?


      • #18
        If the decision was made by National, or at least orchestrated by National, I'd think you will have a tough time with an appeal. Good luck with it.

        I agree with Basementdweller; if gay Scouts are allowed to remain in Scouting anything vaguely sexual on a campout will likely result in expulsion. It won't matter if the boys are gay or straight or goofing, BSA will take action to "prove" gays aren't a danger to other boys.


        • King Ding Dong
          King Ding Dong commented
          Editing a comment
          That will be unfortunate. My sons have not hit puberty yet so I am in no doubt going to experience lots of surprises, however my circle of friends never did anything remotely like what was described here. I am trying to be open minded about it and don't believe in severe punishments for first time mistakes, but that kind of behavior does seem a bit alarming to me, from my own personal perspective. Throwing the book at them is extreme, and not in the spirit of scouting in my opinion.

      • #19

        I'm sorry to hear of the problems caused by a few boys' (your son's included) momentary lack of judgement. I don't see this as a gay/straight issue so much as I think it might be viewed as a "bullying" issue or perhaps an issue of an older boy compelling younger scouts to do questionable / unscoutlike things.

        You state your son is a Star scout and the other youth involved were 12-13 year olds. Was your son a PL or in any position of responsibility over the other youth involved? If so, I can see why the action was taken and I would assume you will have a very difficult time getting him re-instated (even though I personally do not agree with that stance).

        If the youth "offender" - for lack of a better term - is a peer (i.e. 3 first year scouts goofing off in a tent and doing inappropriate things) - I think the SE and probably national would be more willing to look past the issue.

        However, if your son (as an 'older' scout) persuaded or encouraged or bullied the younger scout(s) into such an act - then you have a more serious issue on your hands. Kids will be kids and sometimes they make very stupid mistakes, most often because they do not view the potential interpretation of their goofy actions in the adult world. However, sometimes their stupid mistake results in them loosing an opportunity in life as a life lesson. It would be sad if this is the case for your son (or any of the other youth involved). But, I bet he will NEVER make that kind of mistake again.

        Does the "punishment" fit the "crime"? Most likely not. I do NOT envy your or your son's position in this mess.

        This is one of the problems and a huge hole in the "two-deep" leadership model. No adults in a youth's tent protects youth from ill-meaning adults.... it does nothing (and in some cases can promote) youth on youth mischief (which I view this case to be with the facts given), or worse yet - youth on youth abuse (which I doubt this case is - again taking the facts at face value).

        While my personal opinion on the membership policy is to allow all youth to join BSA, I fear incidents like this will grow in time with a membership change. Any and all accusations of, "he touched me / looked at me / made a comment about me...." in youth only areas (tents / showers / pool changing areas) will likely be met with the accused being asked to leave the ranks. We live in Winston Salem and the which trials are soon to follow... That is a sad fact to the times in which we live.



        • #20
          I should add that it has become almost imparitive that unit leaders have a discussion with youth regarding such types of conduct and make them understand that any type of this "horse-play" will likely get them a one way ticket out of BSA permenantly. This is one part of youth protection training that we as leaders usually dismiss or fail to teach altogether. We are so concerned about the "bad" adults that we fail to understand the individual risks to the youth that gets mixed up in ANY type of sexual exploration / sexual misconduct accusations. The organization will circle the wagons and protect itself in a situation such as this... that means removing the "few" for the good of the "many" - regardless of motive, intent, or guilt of action.


          • Scouter99
            Scouter99 commented
            Editing a comment
            Uhhh, right. I can only imagine with what speed we would get kicked out ourselves if we sat the boys down and told them that circle jerks, kissing, show me yours/show you mine, soggy cookie, spin the bottle, 7 minutes in Heaven, and/or masturbating aren't allowed.
            The insert for parents/sons at the beginning of the book is sufficient, A Time to Tell covers youth-youth abuse.

        • #21
          Hello everyone, sorry for deleting the original posting, but it was making me uncomfortable with this unique situation presented and I don't want anyone we might know to see it. For those of you who remember what the post was about, My son was also 13. All the boys were 12-13, no one bullied anyone, from all accounts the boys were laughing and giggling and anyone who wanted to walk away was free to do so...

          All I really wanted to know was why the national review committee process is such a secret? And I suppose the answer doesn't really matter since we have to wait no matter what the reason or what the process might be.


          • #22
            I can't remember all the details from the (deleted) original description of the incident, but as best I can recall, the scout in question cajoled younger scouts into fondling each other inside a sleeping bag or under a blanket, using some game or dare called "A Night in Heaven" or somesuch. Obviously, National was advised, but:
            A) Were the other boys' parents advised of this incident? If not, why not?

            B) Were the police advised (by the troop or National), as BSA policy requires? If so, did they conduct an investigation?

            C) If National did not report such an incident (which merited the expulsion of a scout for behavior) to law enforcement, then why the hell not?

            Since the majority of reported sexual molestation involves other youths, what the law requires of any such report of the possible sexual touching of a child - whether by another child or not - is to contact the police department in the jurisdiction where the incident occurred (this may be a sheriff's department if the campsite was in an unincorporated area.) The investigator will conduct an initial interview of any adult witnesses, but not the scouts. The scouts will then be interviewed at a multidisciplinary center (MDC) where a certified juvenile forensic interviewer (who may be a civilian employee of the MDC, or may be a sworn investigator) will conduct an interview of the victim(s) and any juvenile witnesses and any juvenile against whom allegations were made, using a court-approved, non-directed questioning protocol. All interviews are videotaped. The information is provided to the investigator who will make the decision whether to present the case to the local prosecutor. It's a fair system which protects the accuser and the accused with numerous levels of review as a safeguard.

            The scouter is ONLY present in that system as a reporter (possibly a mandated reporter, in some jurisdictions.) The scouter does NOT get to make his or her own determination if this is "really" an incident of abuse or a sex crime.

            If a scouter makes that decision on his or her own, how is that different than the old system of Scouting where allegations of abuse (by scouts or scouters) were sometimes reported through the BSA, often without reporting it to the police?

            If there is a rise in this kind of incident in the "new" BSA, will we see a rise in attempts to cover-up or ignore similar incidents out of a desire to a) avoid embarrassing the troop or the BSA, b) to protect the new policy?

            It may well be that the police were advised, and either conducted a proper investigation or failed to do so. I can't remember if it was mentioned in the original post or not.