We had a similar situation at day camp. Long story short: the den chief assaulting the Cub was dismissed from staff, Cub pulling knife expelled from camp. Both reported to DE and council.
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- Aug 2008
- Sep 2006
- Dec 2000
You all are missing one important part of the rules.
"All persons involved in Scouting shall report to local authorities"
The local authorities, ie the police should have been called. This really should be out of everyone's hands. In NY this would be a felony.
Why do you or any ordinary leader think they are equipped to handle a situation like this. If this had happened in the local McDonalds you would have called the police, why is this different?
Yah, nldscout, because children are children, eh? And scouters are scouters, not LEOs.
Not everything is always a law enforcement matter. In fact most of the time in workin' with kids, it's a scouting matter. Otherwise we'd be callin' da cops to report assault and battery every time two eleven year olds got into a tussle.
- Apr 2010
I think what RR & the DE did is the right course.. If you don't know how to handle the situation you move it up the chain. The higher up you go, the more often they will have had the experince and training on what is the right course. If the Council Professionals see it as a problem to be dealt with by the unit level, they will push it back down with some possible solutions they could consider. If they think it is sever enough, they will consider getting law enforcement involved (personnal I also would think over the top, if no one was cut.) or they could make the decision to remove the scout with the knife from scouting which at the council level would mean banning him from even going to another unit..
I know of one incident where a scout used a knife to poke holes in a the canvas wall tents they use at boy scout tents. He was banned permenantly from scouts.. Now you might say to the council their personal property is of utmost importance.. Still to me, I would of seen the response being something like working at the camp for a time to work the cost of the tent off..
RR it was not our council, it was a council in MA, so how our council will treat the situation may not be the same as that council.. I am just saying that it is questionable at what level the council will consider this incident. Let the professionals label it, and call it..
The DE will learn with this experience and will have better knowledge of how to handle it for next time.. Hopefully RR with less units to oversee wont get a similar situation, but she to will learn from the recommendations the council makes on how to call it.
- Oct 2002
I spend a lot of years serving as a District Key 3 member.
Over the years I received a fair number of reports of things that Scouts had done and things that they had got into.
There were times when I felt the urge to rush in on my big white horse, sort things out and save the day.
I of course resisted the urge.
Because much as I might have wanted too sort things out, this really wasn't up to me.
I didn't know the Scouts involved, I didn't know what the CO wanted to do, I didn't know what the Troop Committee might want to do.
I did of course make myself available to offer advise when asked for and needed and I ensured that the Council (SE) Was aware of the facts as I knew them.
Clearly my role as a District Commish or a District Chair. Is very different than that of a SM or Troop Committee chair or Committee Member.
If the SM in this situation were to ask me for advise.
I'd want to know a lot more than what has been posted here.
I'd like to know a lot more about the Lad who pulled the knife.
What sort of Lad is he?
Is he a Lad that is normally a good Scout?
Is he a Lad that was brought into the Troop because he had a history of being in trouble?
What about what led up to the food fight?
I might want to know why someone said : " #3's father is involved in troop, but if we lost him it wouldn't hurt."?
Only because it seems a strange thing to say.
It is way to easy for me to sit here at my keyboard and say "Off with his head!!"
But the truth is that I don't have all the details.
Re: " If this had happened in the local McDonald's you would have called the police, why is this different?"
We as volunteer Scout Leaders are in the business of helping Scouts learn to make ethical decisions, fast food restaurants are not.
Scouts can and sometimes do learn from past mistakes.
It would be up to the Troop Committee to decide if this Lad is going to be allowed to continue on as a Scout and learn from this mistake.
While I'm very much for law and order. I don't think in this case that I'd advise the SM to call the police.
If the parents of the Lad who was threatened want to involve the police? That is of course up to them and they are free to do so.
While I'm not a judge or involved with that area of the law. My guess is that here in Pa. the Lad would more than lightly get a fine and little more.
My own personal feeling is that this doesn't teach the Lad very much.
My advise to ramblinrosey?
As District Commissioner, you need to take a step back.
Allow the Troop Committee and the Scout Masters to sort this out.
Talk with the other members of the Key 3.
Have the DE update his boss about what's going on and work with the CO and COR.
Be there to advise and support the Troop Leaders.
Be very careful about expressing your opinions. The Troop Committee is going to do what they see as being right.
If you have made a point of saying what you think is right and it is different than what they come up with?
You are going to have a hard time ever again been seen as a friend of the unit.
If you get too close you might be unlucky enough to find that some Committee Members are a little like myself and want to work with the Lad who pulled the knife and you saying "Out". Does nothing for your creditability.
Where is the unit Commissioner? What is he or she doing?
- Feb 2011
I agree with Eamonn...there needs to be a greater context before expulsion. Zero tolerance policies can equal zero intelligence put and are easier to administer. But maybe I am a softie...
- May 2010
It has always been my belief that serious infractions meant being kicked out of scouting. How many points of the Scout Law did this scout break? He certainly wasn't trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous or kind.
I would hate to think that this behavior would be excused 'just this once' and then have something far worse happen in the future. Everyone will be questioning why the situation wasn't handled differently the first time.
In a time when the BSA is already having tough PR problems that last thing the organization needs is to 'tread lightly' on its stance of bullying and misbehavior. Adult scouters, leaders, and officials at every level need to say enough is enough and start standing up for scouting principles.
Scouting isn't a boys ranch where troubled youth are sent to learn proper social skills and appropriate behavior. If we allow, justify or excuse this type of behavior we are asking for trouble. Trouble that will take the form of increased violent behavior or bullying, difficult to manage scouts and failing units.
- Mar 2008
KEEP SCOUTING LOCAL
So TT one of your sons pull a knife on some one?????
So #3 scout pulls knife and kills scout on next campout.
As SM how do I explain to the parent of dead scout,
Scout #3 is son of an ASM/CC/COR/minister and sure he pulled a knife before be he said he would never do it again. He promised. hmmmm. Not on my watch.
From prior threads, It is ok for scouts to bring drugs on camp outs, it is ok for them to bring porn it is ok for them to pull a knife on another scout...... I heard some things this weekend about about a prominent district volunteers son that happened on a scout outing......welll, the lad should be in jail.... The lad is having his eagle board in the next week.....I have no doubt he is eagle material, cough cough.
No wonder national over rules local volunteers on important things like eagles.
- Feb 2011
Eamonn,I know the boy,father and mother and purposly didn't fill in all the blanks about him as others in forum do know who and what District I am in. I havn't said bring in the Law yet,The new DE is still under the influence of his training+the numbers game...I would like to at least give him food for thought and I feel he should "counsel" with someone at Council he works well with(unofficially). The fact that the SM reported directly to DE(council exe in his mind) gives me the impression SM feels strongly about this.
The Comment about if parent leaves is it a loss was made on the repercutions if the boy is told to leave, what other area's has the family been involved in for the boys in general trying to see the overall impact of what the decision would affect(not counting #'s as council would).The Unit is small(4) as others have aged out,there is no feeder Pack(wish people would open their minds and look for a Troop that fits not go from here directly to there.)
Hope this little extra helps to clarify.
(This message has been edited by ramblinrosey)
- Nov 2002
How old is the lad, ramblinrosey? Are we talkin' a group of 11-year-olds? High school buddies? A high schooler on an 11 year old? A sensitive 11-year-old on a high schooler? What does "pulled a knife" actually mean? Knife blade to the throat? Rambo knife aimed at his chest? Pen knife waved around at a distance as a joke? Kitchen knife taken out to cut da taco?
Eamonn said better what I was tryin' to say. This should be handled firmly, and treated as serious. But how firmly and how serious depends on a lot of other stuff.
If this is a troop of only 4 boys, this incident will likely end the troop. Is that a good thing? Should it be used to examine that possibility with da Chartered Partner? Should it be used to encourage 'em to reflect on making a leadership change and a strong re-commitment to building the program?
Just stuff to think about.
- May 2002
>>"The fact that the SM reported directly to DE(council exe in his mind) gives me the impression SM feels strongly about this.">"I know the boy,father and mother">"The Unit is small(4) as others have aged out"
- Apr 2009
Been there done that (threat with knife) and then some. (drugs)
I'm certainly in the minority that I belive no one gets the boot unless the boy has a history or there is reason to believe he will be a threat in the future. The easy thing for adults to do is to give the kid the boot but this could be a great oportunity to turn something bad (and stupid) into a learning experience.
We all signed up for a job that requires us to work with kids. The good the bad the ugly. I believe that if you don't buy into this, helping kids with compasion, don't let the door hit you in...... Let the Boy Scout Oath and Law be your guide.
- Jul 2012
I'm on the fence with this one. I'm going to cautiously point out that a Scout threatening with a knife isn't the same as an attack, isn't the same as the usage or attempted usage of the knife, in my completely inexperienced opinion. More information on the situation may be needed perhaps, I dunno.
Zero Tolerance has zero intelligence. Zero Tolerance is a system set up so people in the field (whether it be Scouting ,Daycare, School or anywhere) have zero discretion and don't have to exhibit a single scrap of intelligence. I don't like the laughable behind-covering of zero tolerance.
Ultimately in this situation, the parents of both Scouts, the Committee, and the Scoutmaster need to come together and make a determination on this boy's future. Clearly threatening another Scout is completely unacceptable. In my mind, if this lad doesn't have a history, and doesn't have some sort of mental disorder that would cause him to become unhinged, I don't see this as something to kick him out of Scouting.
He made a stupid choice. A choice made on the spot in a moment of embarrassment and anger. What concerns me more than anything is the physical contact the OP described between Scout 1 and Scout 3. That for me starts to raise additional warning flags from being a stupid threat to something a bit more sinister.