Quick situation I would like feedback from the group on:
I am an ASM and we have a parent (Jack) whose son bridged to our Troop a year ago this last April (along with my younger son - my older son was already in the Troop). The parent makes some of the other parents in the troop uneasy and has really upset one parent (Mike) in particular (an ASM). Several of the parents (female) said that Jack has touched them in a manner that made them feel uncomfortable (e.g., rubbing their backs while licking his lips, lingering over a bra clasp while rubbing a perent's back, lingering a bit too long with a "hello" hug, etc.). Id addition, Jack (did I mention he's an Eagle Scout) physically pulled my son out of a raft during a whitewater rafting trip (in calm water where you could stand up, fortunately during a water gun fight between our two rafts. Jack got out of hand and didn't hurt my son, but he startled him by his actions.
The committee decided these actions were inappropriate (I was unhappy that he put his hands on my son, or any Scout for that matter - no other parent did this during the WWR trip) and needed to take action. We confronted Jack and he apologized and said that he didn't know he was touching some of the female parents in a way that made them uncomfortable. He said he is a very affectionate person and expreses that by touching. He also wrote my son and me a letter apologizing for his actions during the WWR trip and that it wouldn't happen again - he realized his actions were inappropriate.
The committee decided not to process his application to be an ASM and that he stay away from Troop meetings / activities for at least a year (his son brigded April, 2008, the WWR trip was in June 2008), which he has done.
Jack would now like to rejoin troop acivities, but some of the parents aren't comfortable with this (I am satisfied in the situation with my son). Jack has said his son and wife like our Troop and he wants to get more involved and has no intention of leaving. Mike (the upset parent) who is a very active ASM (and whose wife was one of the women Jack touched) has said that if Jack comes back, he will leave the troop (he has a 14 year old son in the Troop and an 18 year old son who just earned his Eagle). The Scoutmaster is siding with Mike saying he doesn't want Mike to leave and would rather have Jack leave since some of the parents are still not comfortable with him around anyway. This situation is making for uncomfortable meetings where Jack is in attendance (Jack hasn't been on an outing yet since his return).
We know we have to deal with this, but I'm not sure what the best course of action is. I think Mike is overreacting a bit (but I understand his uneasiness) and would hate to lose him too. I think he would let his son stay in the Troop even if he decides not to participate. We are a fairly small Troop so we need all the good volunreer adult leaders we can get.
I'm looking for potential solutions here. I realize we probably won't be able to make both Jack and Mike happy (one or the other will likely have to go, otherwise the tension will get so great it will explode into something bigger which we don't want). Our DC is aware of the situation and isn't offering much help. Our SOR is aware of the situation but is leaving it up to the Troop to decide what the recommended course of action should be. Can the SM remove a parent because that parent makes the other parents uncomfortable, or would that be a committee action (delivered by the CC)? Do we need any sort of Council approval or intervention should we decide to invite the offending parent to leave our Troop?
This is new ground for us, so any advice would be great. We need to remove this cloud that is hanging over our Troop so we can get on with the business of Scouting. Thanks in advance for your ideas.