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  • Connecticut-teen-suicide

    I was cruising CNN this fine morning and came across this.



    http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/02/us/con...nn-disqus-area



    The young man was a Boy Scout and considered "awkward" but "a kind hearted person" by other students at his school.



    My prayers go out to his family.



    Sentinel947

  • #2
    "A really quiet kid..."
    "Really sweet but really awkward..."
    "Always been a quirky kid..."
    "Related more with adults than with his peer..."
    "Giant Sweetheart"
    "Kindest kids I ever met..."

    Welcome to the greatest fear of the parents of autistic/Asperger's Syndrom boys. So, so, sad.

    Comment


    • #3
      Makes me think of a few Scouts in my unit. A reminder to be aware of bullying.

      Comment


      • #4
        We had a saying in our troop, "The Troop should be the kind of place where a boy says, I like myself when I'm here". One year during an annual council conference for district leaders, the SE started the conference by reading a letter from a mother of a scout with severe social disablities. The SE didn't give the name of the troop, but he did say the mothers name, so I knew he was our scout. The letter said something to the effect that her son had no friends outside of scouting. He was picked on all the time at school, and sadly some of the teachers were part of the problem. I did not know it until the letter that her family had to threaten litigation to force some protective actions by the school. The mother continued that the one refuge her son could count on each week was the troop meeting. She said scouting was the one place where her son was treated as an equal and was respected for his contributions to his Patrol. He was a Patrol Leader at the time, which was no big deal to us in the troop, but a huge huge deal to anyone who knew him outside the troop. I admit I felt very proud of our troop at that moment. I knew her son very well and while his personal issues were challenging, we never felt they were at the level his mother described outside the program. Both parents were very active and I finally understood why. After I settled down from patting myself on the back, I saw the bigger picture. It wasn't our troop that was special, it was the Scouting program. I have since tried to explain to adults in training and in forums that when a troop truly encourages living by the Scout Law and Oath, everyone is an equal among their peers. I look back at the challenging scouts while I was SM and it seems we had way more than our fair share. I'm not bragging, awkward and disabled boys are a real challenge and they pull on all our emotions. All of them, and sometimes too much. But there is something to a program where the over all vision hinges on outward actions using the basic traits of selflessness. I remember once reading that Badon Powel's vision for scouting was world peace. After that letter, I finally got it. Barry
        Last edited by Eagledad; 09-06-2013, 12:00 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Urg! That one got to me. I have too have a 15 year old son with disabilities who loves scouts. Of all the "help" he has gotten over the years it is has been the best program for him. He is a tough guy but occasionally tells us of how much isolation and bullying he has to put up with everyday. I do not know how he endures it; I guess some don't. Some of the meanest bullies (including scouts) have been the ones who were the most intelligent, attractive, and affluent kids --the ones who already are winning life's lotteries.

          Comment


          • #6
            Eagledad wrote it so well. Youth go thru hell in school these days.

            When I see people arguing over who is worthy of what rank I just get nauseated. Our number one goal as scouters should always be to provide a safe haven for our scouts. Thru skills training and outings, scouts bond and build friendships. Heck, how do you not grow close when camping out in the woods each month.

            Our troops have had scouts who have threatened suicide while at school and elsewhere. I know scouts who've dealt with drugs and pregnancies and etc etc etc. Our scouts go thru real issues. I am glad if scouting can be their safe haven.

            Comment


            • #7
              Is there a place where that letter would be available? I can think of a few roundtable discussions on the challenges on working with such youth members that could use a really good dose of why we make that effort.

              Comment


              • Eagledad
                Eagledad commented
                Editing a comment
                Likely not, that was around the year 2000 and the SE has been gone about 10 years. I didn't think to ask for a copy, I guess because I was still working with the scout. By the way, the last time I heard about the scout, he was an engineer on a nuclear submarine. Barry

            • #8
              There is nothing in or about the article to suggest the boy was autistic.

              Comment


              • Sentinel947
                Sentinel947 commented
                Editing a comment
                I think most of the above posters are relating it to their own experiences with their own Scouts. I agree, there is no mention of the boy being autistic.
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