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  • Threat of bodily harm and knife pulled

    Ok,I'm DC, we have a new DE, and a DChair that likes to minimalize things... At a Scout overnight recently, scout #1 Decided to chuck a loaded Taco at Scout #2, missed and it hit Scout#3, Scout #3 proceded to slam @1 to the wall and threaten blackened eyes, #1 said a few words and #3 also pulled a knife etc. with more dire threats(won't get into the play out ) hr later they were all ok buddies again . #3 Did admit to pulling the knife.
    Food fight is one thing but verbal and Knife threats even if it's at the moment are very much another.
    Question is what should be done, I say out, Chair say counseling,move other boys to safe Troop,New DE has conference with a counsel person 2morrow. We have numerous Lawyers(at counsel) in diff positions why not ask them, because if #1's parent want they could press charges. #3's father is involved in troop, but if we lost him it wouldn't hurt. I still stand by-OUT....
    What's national's protocal on this? googling now. Thnx

  • #2
    Pulling a knife = dismissal from the Troop... nothing else really matters. Scout #1 who started mess should have been sent home.

    Scout #2 should be recognized for exhibiting alertness & fitness (just kidding).

    Scout #1 does dishes/kp on next outing for EVERYBODY = learn to clean up so won't throw food.


    • #3
      I am not sure I would be consulting with District or Council (nice to let them know it happened, but the decision is certainly not up to anyone but the Troop leadership).

      My thoughts: the kid with the knife is expelled. The others can be handled constructively in house.

      I didn't see anything in there about the Scoutmaster. What does he/she think?(This message has been edited by dhendron)


      • #4
        At the very least a few months suspension. Possibly for all of the boys. I know of one situation on a HS football team where the boy who pulled the knife was found to be in the right, because the other boy would persistently taunt folks wih the intent of inciting violence.

        The character of each of the boys needs to be called into question. The SE may need to call in a few resources to get counseling to the kids who need it. From this side of the Internet, we can't tell what exactly needs to be done with these three boys. But you need to have your best listeners able to take point on this one.

        Obviously, unwillingness to comply with counseling would be grounds for permanent suspension.


        • #5
          #1 committed a battery against #3 (misdemeanor)
          #3 was justified in threatening #1 as self defense

          hopefully you reminded them they really shouldn't act this way. though from the way this sounds if they still get along fine, and no real harm was done any further action will only make things worse for everyone involved.


          • #6
            Yah, hmmm... Did the lad pull the pin on the loaded Taco?

            ramblinrosey, welcome to da fun part of commissioner life. :P

            First thing to do is to recognize that this is not your call. You aren't there to solve this. You are there to be a friend to the unit and help them figure out how they want to solve it. It's their program.

            I'd suggest that if all da kids are buddies again and the parents aren't threatenin' to gouge each others' eyes out that it's time to relax, take a step back and a deep breath. Put da lawyers on hold, get the executives out of it and just go ask the SM what he/she thinks. There's no national protocol. Da responsibility lies where it belongs, eh? With the adults in the unit who know the boys and the families the best, and with da Chartered Org. that runs the program.

            There are a couple of possibilities.

            First possibility, and often da most likely, is yeh have relatively weak unit leadership. A few parents who aren't great at maintaining discipline, that sort of thing. Lots of adults aren't the best at workin' with or confronting youth, and generally this sort of behavior happens when adults aren't maintainin' a level of alertness/unit culture that would prevent it naturally. I say it's da most likely because stronger leadership would most likely have sent boy #3 home from the outing immediately, or otherwise dealt with it firmly enough to satisfy everyone right then.

            In that case, as a commissioner, yeh might need to act as a more firm guiding hand. Help 'em through the process of meeting with boy #3 and his parents, gettin' his side, and talkin' to the committee and Chartered Org. about how they would like to proceed. Give 'em a few options, shepherd it to a rapid and fair conclusion. Then see if yeh can help 'em recruit a couple stronger adult leaders who are better with groups of kids.

            Second possibility is yeh have decent unit leadership who has some sense for workin' with kids, but it's become a bit of a tangle because the unit adults or parents are in a bit of a twitter. In that case, yeh reinforce da roles, and come in to be a friend and support to the SM and CC. Get folks on board with da direction of da SM/CC in a way that recognizes their concerns and gets buy-in.

            As an outsider, yeh can't make da call on the proper response for the kid. You just don't know enough about da relationships, the boys, how they joke around, etc. Generally speaking, for "pulling a knife" I'd put the response somewhere between expulsion and a longer suspension with conditions for return, followed by a lifetime of probation. But I can imagine cases where it might get down to quite a bit less than that, eh? I can also imagine a few cases where I'd be the one talkin' to law enforcement and da county prosecutor. We've gotta go with da folks who know the boys and the circumstances the best, rather than use our imaginations.

            Only other thing yeh should make sure happens is that da COR/IH get looped in. Preferably by the SM/CC, but on this sort of issue they at least need to be informed.



            • #7
              Beavah is right on the money when he says this isn't your call.
              What happened and what happens next is up to the Troop.



              • #8
                I was ok with "boys being boys" until the knife came out with threats of bodily harm. That "scout" is out. Counseling? Nah...not your call, not your job. Move to a "safer troop"? All troops should be "safe". Agree with all, this is a troop/CO decision, not the district or council.


                • #9
                  View from the other side of the pond is the scout who pulled the knife is dismissed. Regardless of whether it was a one off, out of character etc. Threatening with a knife is serious.

                  It is for the protection of the rest of the troop, ie what if there is a next time and that time someone gets hurt or worse?

                  It is for the protection of the troop leadership. If there is a next time can you imagine the fall out if it turns out it had happened before and the scout was still there?

                  It is for the perpetrators protection. How so? If he had done that outside of scouts he could well be looking at being arrested and possible doing a spell in prison and getting a criminal record. Better that he learns now that doing things like that result in serious consequences than by learning it by landing in prison.


                  • #10
                    CM, troop committee, and COR should agree on the punishments for the kids involved. In our troop, the kid who pulled the knife would be out of the troop.


                    • #11
                      #3 is out of the troop

                      Also under YP guidelines you need to report the incident

                      "All persons involved in Scouting shall report to local authorities any good faith suspicion or belief that any child is or has been physically or sexually abused, physically or emotionally neglected, exposed to any form of violence or threat, exposed to any form of sexual exploitation including the possession, manufacture, or distribution of child pornography, online solicitation, enticement, or showing of obscene material. No person may abdicate this reporting responsibility to any other person.

                      Notify your Scout executive of this report, or of any violation of BSAs Youth Protection policies, so that he or she may take appropriate action for the safety of our Scouts, make appropriate notifications, and follow-up with investigating agencies."



                      • #12
                        RR, you asked for National's protocol. This is from the Guide to Safe Scouting and is as close to a National Protocol as you will get

                        "Unit Responsibilities

                        Adult leaders of Scouting units are responsible for monitoring the behavior of youth members and interceding when necessary. Parents of youth members who misbehave should be informed and asked for assistance.

                        The BSA does not permit the use of corporal punishment by unit leaders when disciplining youth members.

                        The unit committee should review repetitive or serious incidents of misbehavior in consultation with the parents of the child to determine a course of corrective action including possible revocation of the youths membership in the unit.

                        If problem behavior persists, units may revoke a Scouts membership in that unit. When a unit revokes a Scouts membership, it should promptly notify the council of the action.

                        The unit should inform the Scout executive of any violations of the BSAs Youth Protection policies."

                        I think this fits in the "serious incident of misbehavior" and it compels the Unit COmmittee to handle situation.

                        What to do ? Thats really hard to call from where I sit. It's up to the Unit


                        • #13
                          The knife puller is out. We had a situation similar to this a few years ago where a scout pulled a knife on his Patrol Leader at Summer Camp. He was sent home from camp the same day and subsequently dismissed from the troop. The safety of the whole group must take precedence. The other two can be handled thru meetings with the scouts involved and parents.



                          • #14

                            Also under YP guidelines you need to report the incident

                            Yah, bnelon44, they clearly already did report it, eh? That's why ramblinrosey, the DE, council attorneys and such have been consulted.

                            While da BSA language that OGE quotes puts this on the unit committee, I would add a very strong caveat to that. That is assuming a "model" Unit Committee that is carefully selected and acts as a board of directors, eh? We all know that most unit committees are a group of random volunteer parents, or perhaps all parents. Yeh don't want to take a serious disciplinary issue to such a wide-open and diverse group, ever. All it will get yeh is a mess.

                            That's why as DC yeh work with da SM and CC, and COR/IH as appropriate. It may be that da right way to go in this unit is to have da unit committee handle it. Maybe it's a Mormon troop, and the unit committee is a small group of three who clearly do represent da chartered org. In other cases, though, a small subcommittee may be appropriate, or it may be better for the SM/CC/COR as a team to handle it. Just depends.



                            • #15
                              TY all for the great help, Beavah, this is not an LDS Unit,but it is a small one. Am passing all your input on to the DE as that is who the SM emailed first(his email was as good as a police report so he was covering his bases).Yes tomorrow looks to be a day for some fact finding with all. I to thought the Safe scouting was on track as well as YPT guidlines. Plain horsing around food fight is an easy matter to deal with,but when a physical altercation and a weapon (not sure what kind of knife was involved) enters the picture it turns serious.If I remember correctly #3's Mother is on MC and father just stepped down from SM/ASM. will update you all later in the week.(This message has been edited by ramblinrosey)