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bullying incident

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Adolescents do stupid things. The problem with a zero tolerance approach to these kinds of incidents is that too high a cost is imposed for transient stupidity. From B's willingness to admit what he did, I do not infer that he is even a latent pedophile, much less a confirmed pedophile. I could see sending the boy home, but I question the way it was handled after an initial delay. If the original judgment of the adult leadership on the scene was that the event was inconsequential, I am willing to respect that judgment, lacking more information. I want to go back and take another look at what YP has to say about this before I comment further.

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Just had a YP refresher & to me this doesn't fall under sexual harassment. The way the adults handled the situation was correct. Sucumbing to pressure from a parent only undermines the adult leaders ability to deal with these situations. And considering the Scout admitted to everything, I don't feel anything else neede to be done. Now, there is a possibility that the younger Scout who was bullied can "cry wolf" and his dad will see that the offender (whether anything happened or not)is repermanded. Not a good situation.


Ed Mori


Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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In my opinion, any act that includes "humping" has a sexual meaning. I would be concerned about this boy and I would have contacted his parents immediately. I do not agree that he should be removed from Scouting entirely, but perhaps a suspension might be in order.


I'm a little surprised at the responses from some of the members who generally seem to be much more conservative. I don't see this as a situation to be taken lightly.

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This is the person who started this thread. Thank you so much for your thoughtful replies. Opinions vary widely both in this forum and in my troop, and it is tough to call. At first I felt it was a sexual thing and over time I have come to believe it was bullying. At minimum it was bullying.


For those who want to know the background, yes, the older boy has bullied before, so much so that he had been the subject of a prior adult meeting. In addition, there were two boys who came to the adults that night to report bullying by this older boy; I told you the more serious of the two stories.


I disagree with those who believe that parents have no say in how a troop should be run. The adult leaders are acting in loco parentis. Scouting is all about taking controlled risks, such as how to start fires, how to use a knife, how to canoe. These risks are all controlled. If a parent perceives that leaders are failing to control bullying then they need to challenge the leadership.


Bullying runs a gamut. At the milder end is the simple verbal jab, such as calling somebody a 'f____t'. At the extreme end is the bully who throws another boy to the ground, takes out his knife, and carves in his skin (a true story, by the way, from another troop). At some point between those two levels of bullying there is an action that is 'over the line', something that needs strong and quick corrective action. My opinion is that the line was crossed in this incident and that the leadership failed to send a strong message to prevent future bullying.


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Any Scout in a unit I served who made a gesture like that would be on his way home and possibly for good. I would expect any responsible adult to respond the same way.


Everyone needs to be familiar with this passage from the guide to safe scouting.


"Misbehavior by a single youth member in a Scouting unit may constitute a threat to the safety of the individual who misbehaves as well as to the safety of other unit members. Such misbehavior constitutes an unreasonable burden on a Scout unit and cannot be ignored.


Member Responsibilities

All members of the Boy Scouts of America are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the principles set forth in the Scout Oath and Law. Physical violence, hazing, bullying, theft, verbal insults, and drugs and alcohol have no place in the Scouting program and may result in the revocation of a Scout's membership in the unit.


If confronted by threats of violence or other forms of bullying from other youth members, Scouts should seek help from their unit leaders or parents."


Keep in mind that bold lettering is unalterable policy. Now reread the original incident in the post and tell me it does not fit the discription of prohibited behavior. Also note the instruction to report the incident to an adult.


Now look at the scout discribed in Yaworski's last post and decide if that scout's actions are forbidden.


Don't play hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil, when it comes to these harmful behaviours. Your responsibility is to the boys who want to follow the ideals of the program, not to the ones who won't.


Bob White(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Based on additional information it appears that this boy was warned fairly about his future conduct. Maybe it is time to remove him altogether. What has been the total impact of his behavior over time on the rest of the troop?

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What can we learn from this?


1st We as leaders need to be trained in YP.

2nd Anything that even approaches bullying should be recognized and warned.

3rd We should be trustworthy and follow through on any consequence we have laid out.

4th The buddy system is not just to keep a scout from getting lost.


I have found that when a scout is not courteous I will have them repeat the scout law and stop them on the point that they are violating. I have also made it very clear that scouting is a privilege.

Either you will live up to your word when you accepted the scout oath or you will not be a scout. (Repentance is always allowed.)

When we are doing scouts we are scouts If you don't want to be a scout don't come.

I have found that with this policy I spend almost no time telling the scouts to be quiet and that attendance and fun are up.

I have also found that if you call them on the little things the big things are fewer and farther apart.



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Welcome aboard James.


I remember those boys that Yaworski is talking about. The ones who acted like that, punched the fat kid in the stomach just because, made "teasing" comments about boy's physical features and girl's physical features. I remember them very well from my small town. Let's see, at least one has served a bit of jail time. The only reason they own a house (or trailer) is because Daddy gave it to them. They work at some crappy job they hate until they die. A big exciting night is a 6 pack of Miller. They have no choices in their lives at 40 years old because of the choices they made at 15. They can't turn their back on their "friends" because of fear of being robbed. Their "friends" are more likely to shoot them or stab them then a stranger is. That cool car they had in high school is starting to be a pain now that it is 20 years old and the kids can't fit in the back. Their teenagers are having kids and dropping out of school. They blame all of it on someone else -- the government, the schools, big business, etc.


Yep, that's the life!


Now look at the ones who had an adult show them there is a different way of life. The ones who were taught that bullying is unacceptable. That honesty and courtesy do pay off. Even if they aren't rich with money, they have friends they can trust. They believe in themselves even when the going gets tough. They take responsibility for their actions. They know they do have choices in life and know how to make a decision. They like being adults. They don't expect people to back down when they puff out their chest. They are respected at work and in the neighborhood.



:::stepping down off the soapbox::::



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Gee Scoutmom, I can't speak about everyone in my high school that participated in locker room hi-jinks because we have more than seven kids in the school. Most of the ones that I can recall went on to successful careers. Interestingly, the two felons that I know of one is an Eagle Scout who barely avoided jail time for insurance fraud and the other was a Life Scout who is now doing forty years.


If you want to see cruel behaviour, you should look to your own sex. Girls at any age are much, much crueler than boys ever are.

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You are right Yaworski I went to a VERY small school. The town had about 3000 people total. The school I went to had one class for each grade, that's 20 to 25 kids per grade. Yep, the girls were mean. Not physically. I remember seeing boys being punched in the stomach because they existed on the earth, boys being held upside by their feet in the hallway.


The girls that I went to school with? Most of them are married to the males I mentioned earlier, and running around with the high school jocks they didn't marry. Maybe they are all happy, I wish them the best. But they last time I saw them, they were still acting like immature 15 year old bullies, no matter how long they live that is what they will be.


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