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Rooster7

Disturbing News from NY

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Let's back up a minute. I don't think NJ was trying to say there is NOT a difference between being married and being and an "avowed" homosexual. The question he presented to Rooster was about was he an "avowed" heterosexual. Saying someone is "avowed" whatever doesn't make it right or wrong, it just says they acknowledge it.

 

You are an "avowed" heterosexual if you tell others of your spouse that is of an opposite gender. If asked your sexual preference, you say you prefer the opposite gender.

 

Like NJ said, I was only pointing out that the policy of banning gays would not have stopped this man because he is NOT an avowed homosexual. He would have denied it, probably still denies it. If you asked him to sign a statement to say "are you homosexual", he would say "NO". Let's get back to why didn't the Youth Protection policies stop this!

 

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The policy didn't work because it wasn't enforced obviously. As to why it wasn't enforced, i can only speculate that the parents in the troop weren't active enough to make the troops business theirs.

 

Please note that i'm not saying it's the parents fault, it is the SM's. It is however the parents of all the boys who allowed an atmosphere to be created where GTSS wasn't followed.

 

I think i'm up to $.04 now.

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I found this article on the situation on the NY Times website:

MANHATTAN: SCOUT LEADER ADMITS MOLESTING BOY A former Boy Scout troop leader charged with molesting a boy in his troop on a regular basis in 1996 and 1997 pleaded guilty yesterday to four counts of third-degree sodomy and will be sentenced this summer. Prosecutors recommended a sentence of two years and eight months to eight years for the former scout leader, Jerrold Schwartz. He admitted yesterday in State Supreme Court that he had engaged in sexual intercourse on numerous occasions with the boy in his office at East 80th Street and First Avenue. http://www.nytimes.com/2002/05/08/nyregion/08MBRF.html

 

As I suspected when I first read Rooster's cited article, the abuse took place away from a scouting environment, not at a campout or a troop meeting. Our youth protection policies will not work if the scoutmaster intends to abuse and he can get the scout away from the scouting environment. Other members of the troop cannot stop this, if they do not know it is happening. As members of a troop, we can monitor what we see when we are present. Probably only the scout and the scout's family were aware of the meetings at the scoutmaster's office, and only they could have kept the meetings from happening. This is why for rank advancement in Cub and Boy Scouting, the youth protection materials in the front of the handbooks are to be reviewed by the scout and his family. The family must sign on to the importance of youth protection.

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My apologies for going off the deep end NJ - and for your poll, i am an avowed heterosexual.

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I think we have to teach our children that they should never be left alone with an adult without our permission. And we should only allow it in very special circumstances -- such as a trusted relative.

 

It is a shame we have to take such actions, but obviously it is necessary.

 

As I said in another thread, no one on one contact also protects the innocent adult who is wrongly accused. My mother always told my father that she trusted him about helping a stranded female motorist, it was the female she didn't trust!

 

Trying to see through the eyes of a criminal, I realize how easily I could win over the trust of some boys. Especially those with few friends, problems at school or home, etc. They are such easy prey for sickos.

 

Bottom line is that we must ALL take responsibility for making sure Youth Protection rules are followed. I think we should also try to get other youth organizations and schools to set the same rules. If we use the same rules every where then it will become the "norm" instead of the "exception".

 

 

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sctmom,

 

Thanks for the update. I wonder why the parents allowed those meetings? What was the pretence? I suppose there are many possible explanations. Yet, as someone who has his "mother's blood" (I am extremely paranoid when it comes to my children), I cannot understand why folks are not more cautious. We're not always going to get a second chance to get it right.

 

My motto: "Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean someone isn't out to get you." This can cause some stress, but it works for me.

 

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If a Scout leader preys on a child it is almost always outside of a scouting event. Youth protection when used properly makes abuse next to impossible unless there is collusion between adult leaders. (an extremely frightening thought.)

 

What predators do is build up a comfort level with the parents through the scouting program and then invite the victim out to do something (movie, campout, look at my old patches, ect.) outside of scouting. Everyone asks "why did the parents allow this." The parents allowed it because they had developed a comfort level with the adult. They couldn't imagine the adult to be a predator. This also makes it less likely that the child will seek help. Think about it, you are a kid and someone that everyone else you know thinks very highly of abuses you. Well, you were prepared for a sicko to attempt this not a scout leader you trust and respect. Week after week you hear praise for the leader and it's going to make a child think that the problem is with the child and not the adult.

 

What your troop needs to do is to take youth protection one step further. Closely watch interactions with Scouts and adult leaders outside of scouting. Make it clear to the committe that if you are a scout leader in your troop, that the troop expects you to observe youth protection in ALL of their dealings with your scouts in and out of scout functions.

 

Scout- I'm going camping with Mr. X next weekend.

Scouter- Really sounds like fun. Who all is going?

Scout- Mr. X, me and Joe.

Scouter- Any other adults going?

Scout- No.

Scouter should see a BIG RED FLAG! Talk to Mr. X along with at least two members of your committee. If you don't get the answers you want contact Council.

 

If your troop does not discuss this in committee you are in big danger of this happening to your troop.

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Mike,

 

Sounds good in theory, but I doubt if it is legally sound. For example, many families in our troop were friends before they joined Scouting. I know that it is not too uncommon for some of these families to do things together (picnic, trips to the beach, etc.) with and without all of the parents present (i.e., a father takes his son and another family's kid fishing). Does a troop committee have a right to tell them that they can't? As I said, I appreciate your thoughts on this subject (and I agree with them in principle). However, I'm not convinced that your troop or a council could actually back up such a policy. It's outside of the realm of the Scouting program (it's a non-Scouting event).

 

As much as we would like to protect every kid, everywhere, all the time, I don't think we can do it. We don't have the resources or the legal authority (especially outside of Scouting). I think our best bet is to educate the parents and the kids about sexual predators (as BSA has done) and encourage everyone to be "a little paranoid". And of course, while Scouting, enforce and practice Youth Protection.

(This message has been edited by Rooster7)

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Rooster you are probably right about the legal angle, actually I know you are right.

 

Much the same I saw this happen as a scout amd it almost happened to me as a scout and I'm extremely sensitive to it and sometimes I react excessively.

 

But yes I think you are right about that going too far.

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Mike,

 

I appreciate your perspective (and your emotions) as a near victim of this very ugly crime. Regardless of the legalities, I agree with you...the world would be a better place if all parents embraced BSA's guidelines for Youth Protection and applied them in their everyday life. I have some very close friends. These same friends have a very deep faith in God. Yet, I will not leave my children alone with these godly men. We're (mankind) very good at hiding our most hideous sins. While I have contempt for the pedophile, I also realize that many good men (and women) can fall prey to sexual sin (and other vices). We shouldn't assume that we know, all there is to know, about anyone. That probably sounds a little bleak, but I think we'd be foolish to think the condition of man is such that we should innately trust him. History and personal observation of current events tells us differently. Apparently, you can attest to the same. God bless.(This message has been edited by Rooster7)

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Thanks Rooster.

 

Well let me just say that if you have an adult interacting with the boys one on one outside of scouting you need to look very closely at what is happening. If it makes you edgy then trust your instincts and act.

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Mike 100% right. If your senses tell you something is wrong then you MUST check it out!! I would rather have someone mad at me for being overprotective than I would having a parent mad because their child was abused.

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My point on this is the youth protection guidelines broke down in this instance. I work for the organization my troop is chartered to as well as am a youth leader in other programs and the number one thing i practice is that I am not alone with any kids we are always two deep. Even if it is a outing having nothing whatsoever to do with scouts it is still two deep

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Excuse me for butting into the conversation but I'ld like to make a couple observations:

1) The Youth Portection Program is fine and well but an obvious point is missed; the chartering organization is supposed to check out its leaders before appointing them as leaders. Where were they in this situation, and who were they?

2) Recent happenings suggest that some chartering organizations are now questionable since they either withdraw support from the scouting movement because of the homosexual issue (some of the Jewish Community), or they have highly visible problems (such as the Catholic Church).

I suggest that more scrutiny be used when associated with such apparent chartering organizations. I am sure that there are more and I did not intend to single out either of these but they have done so themselves.

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