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Merlyn_LeRoy

BSA not subject to Am. with Disabilities Act

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Have we ever considered the BSA just figured it wasn't worth tossing money away fighting the ACLU & decided to just recharter those units that were chartered by public schools & other public entities like that? Hmmm ................

 

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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See Ed, its comments like your last one that leads Merlyn to say that you can't learn, because you are stuck on the same old broken record. The BSA indeed has stopped, or started to stop chartering units to schools and other govermental units because they were indeed tired of throwing money at lawsuits and get this, losing! You know why? Because governmental units cannot own and operate private organizations that discriminate, which is what the BSA does and I am ok with that. What I am not ok with is having the same argument with the same issues reviewed, reviewed and reviewed. We are a private organization and have membership standards,we know thats legal. We need to be sure private organizations charter our units as governmental units cannot. You may not like it, I may not like it but we need to recognize the facts and move on, something very difficult for some, but it can be done. I dont want any of my FOS money going to a lawyer who is in a losing battle.

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Thanks OGE! Nice post! Maybe I do sound like a broken record. Learn to live with it! There are still unit charted by public schools and fire departments & police departments and department stores and public libraries. And this will probably continue! Why? Because it's good for the community. The ACLU might not think so because if something is good they don't like it. Too bad! And Merlyn's list is about as accurate as a scud missile! Yet he stands by it as fact! Typical tactic of the ACLU ilk!

 

Go ahead & delete this if you lie, moderators!

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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OGE speaks for many of us, I surmise... :-)

 

 

So Ed, you don't like Merlyn's posts - Learn to live with it!

 

So Merlyn, what would happened if a kid who's an atheist wanted to join ?

 

I'm one of those guys that can't stand repititious noise.. i.e.. a faucet dripping, a clock ticking, people making the same posts over and over and over and over and over and over and over and .....

 

Apologies to the both of you.. not trying to offend... trying to move on...

 

 

 

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Okay, I'm probably going to offend some of you folks out there...

This whole thing burns my tail up! I was born in 1959. I was a thalidomide baby. I have seal limbs. I didn't participate in Cubs because the Bobcat leader who lived next door to us lied to my Mom and told her kids with disabilities weren't allowed in Scouts. My Mom should have called council, but she wasn't too bright early on dealing with discrimination. I did participate with Troop 302 at Joseph Pomeroy Widney High School from 1971 to 1973, in LAAC. The school was for disabled kids and so was the troop. Cary Bates was our SM and that man should be sainted! He dealt with kids who were blind, had polio, amputees, Cerebral Palsy, Downs Syndrome, acute asthsma and AUTISM! He had 1 ASM and a Junior ScoutMaster to assist him. The Junior had Downs Syndrome. There were between 12 and 14 of us scouts. Two patrols. I was PL of one patrol. We did everything "normal" scouts did, including participating and competing at Camporee and Summer Camp in 1973!

The ADA aside, Baden-Powell meant for Scouting to be accessible to ALL boys, as did F.R. Burnham! This issue of disabled scouts and leaders being unwilling to work with them or the troop or other scouts making disabled scouts and their parents uncomfortable or unwelcome is inexcusable! That the parents had to sue BSA is equally inexcusable! Denver Area Council has a Special Needs Executive who sole job is troubleshoot these kinds of situations and to find ways to serve special needs boys. The SM's request that a parent accompany the autistic boy on the trip is not unreasonable. My son has acute ADD/ADHD and mild Cerebral Palsy. He participates fully in our troop as do I. When he goes on a trip, I go. We also have 2 boys with autism whose parents DON'T go along on our trips. The adult leaders took the time to learn how to work with these boys. We also have an SM who is willing to medicate and take responsibility for these boys, as will the other leaders in our troop. It comes down to how committed an adult leader is to the ALL of the boys in the troop. Not just the normal, easy boys, but the boys who require extra effort too. It requires leaders who will take the time to learn about these boys. It takes MEN! MEN WHO CARE ABOUT SCOUTING, ALL OF THE BOYS, AND LIVING THE 9 AND 12 TO THE BEST OF THEIR ABILITY!

Broadside fired. Running under full sail. Black flag has been run out! Bring it on!

YIS,

JW Merica

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Hi jwmerica

Welcome to the forum.

To my mind, one of the things that has over the years helped make Scouting so wonderful, is the adults. Everyone who joins brings something to the table.

Some seem to focus in a certain area.

We had an old Scouter in our Council who carried rope around in his pocket and would look for every opportunity to pass on his great knowledge of knot tying.

Many of my friends in Scouting seem to have something which seems to be "Their Bag". Some seem to see Scouting as a form of ministry and focus on "Duty to God" while others see Scouting as preparing Scouts for some sort of mountain man challenge.

I think that I'm passionate about Scouting. I really hate when I hear that a Scout has been asked to leave, no matter what the reason. I think we have failed.

I wish we could do more for every kid. I wish we could find ways of delivering the program to every kid.

I like to think I have the best of intentions. But I know I don't have all the skills needed to cater to every kid. I admire the people who have the skills I don't have. I thank them for the work they do with the Scouts they serve.

Now for the But.

I however think that as volunteers trying to force something upon us, particularly something which we may have little or no experience and no training in, is not the way to get things done.

Many, many moons ago while working for my Queen's Scout Award, I did my service project working at the Cheyne Centre for Spastic Children, in Chelsea, London. As a Venture Unit we built an adventure playground for the kids and once a week we would take them out to use the play ground. The kids had the best of times. A few years later I had the wonderful idea of starting a Cub Scout pack there. Cub Scouting in the UK is different and the Pack meets weekly. Everyone thought the idea was good, but the only time the pack could meet was in the early afternoon. The problem was transporting the kids back home (not everyone in London had a car.) We just couldn't find enough people to be on hand to make the thing work.

The need for us to be able to do more is there. Many if not most of us wish we could do more. Sadly most of us are trying to do more than we should serving the Scouts we have. Special needs units need very special leaders, who know what they are doing. They may need special equipment, which can be very expensive. The units tend to not be very big and the parents are stressed out to start with, trying to involve them in the management of a Scout unit is hard. Most units seem to revolve around a few hard working parents, who are so busy delivering the program that they don't have time to think about what happens in the future and sadly once these few move on the unit fails.

School Districts, would be the ideal CO, but as we know this isn't allowed.

For now sad as it might be we can only do our best to serve as many kids as we can.

My hat is off to all the Scouter's who work with kids with special needs.

Eamonn.

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Here is an update.

 

http://www.palisadespost.com/content/index.cfm?Story_ID=2385

 

 

Boy Scout Suit Dismissed; Appeal Planned

 

 

November 15, 2006

 

Max Taves , Staff Writer

 

A lawsuit filed by the parents of a 13-year-old autistic former Boy Scout against local Scout Troop 223 and the Western Los Angeles County Council of Boy Scouts of America was dismissed by a federal district court in late October.

 

In their lawsuit, Pacific Palisades residents Jane Dubovy and Mike Reilly argued that Troop 223 and the Council violated state and federal disability laws, mainly the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), after Scout leaders excluded their son, Casey Reilly, from scouting activities and from advancing in rank.

 

Reilly's specific form of autism, known as Asperger's Syndrome, entails impaired communication skills, repetitive patterns of thought and behavior, and weak motor skills.

 

The central debate in court was whether the ADA could be applied to a private organization like the Scouts. The ADA became law in 1990 and prohibits discrimination on the basis of a disability. But the immunity of private clubs and organizations from that law has been a frequent source of debate nationwide.

 

The Dubovy-Reilly suit cited a 2001 case mandating that the Professional Golfers' Association follow the ADA. If the ADA could be applied to a private organization like the PGA, they argued, then it should also apply to the Scouts.

 

The judge, S. James Otero, ruled that because the Boy Scouts of America excludes homosexuals and atheists it is not an 'open' organization and therefore does not have to follow the ADA. The only requirement for joining the PGA, Otero concluded, was being a 'good golfer.'

 

'Boy Scout Troop 223 is not a private organization,' said Dubovy. 'It's open to all boys in the community. They start applying to the Tiger Cubs at seven to eight-years-old. Being a boy in a certain geographic area is the only real requirement, not one's sexuality or religious beliefs.'

 

Otero also rebuffed another argument from the plaintiffs when he ruled that the Boy Scouts do not cease to be a private membership club merely because they operate campsites for their own private use.

 

'We were pleased with the judge's decision,' said Ross Harrop, executive of the Western Los Angeles County Council. 'It is the way it should have been dismissed.'

 

Dubovy and her husband plan to appeal the ruling in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal. Their lawyer, Barak Lurie, said the judge 'misapplied' ADA law and 'went beyond what he is authorized to do.'

 

That appeal is expected to be filed sometime this month.

 

In August 2005, Scout leaders told Casey's parents that he could only attend a weeklong, Scout rite of passage at Catalina's Emerald Bay if his father came to supervise him. Casey's father was an assistant Scoutmaster and frequently attended the Troop's outings, and his brother is an Eagle Scout. But his father's health prevented him from attending that summer's event and his brother was not allowed to attend the event and supervise Casey.

 

In Casey's four years of Scouting, his disability had presented difficulties for the troop. He is physically weaker than his peers and often needs assistance on long hikes. Also troubling for troop leaders was Casey's frequent use of foul language and his propensity to become hyperactive, which they insisted only Casey's father could control.

 

'We didn't do anything wrong,' said Troop 223 Scoutmaster Mike Lanning in a press release. 'It is standard practice in scouting to ask a parent to accompany a Scout with disabilities whose behavior appears to endanger himself and others. With the help of their parents, our troop has worked successfully with many Scouts with various disabilities. Most have attained the rank of Eagle.'

 

Lanning has run Troop 223 in the Palisades for more than five decades, and the Troop has produced more Eagle Scouts than any other troop nationwide.

 

As volunteers, Troop leaders receive no specific training to deal with special-needs children. And Casey's parents said that lack of preparation created an inhospitable environment for their son and other students with special needs. When Casey used profanity or other Scouts with disabilities would not follow orders, Scout leaders would respond by yelling or threatening punishment, said Mike Reilly.

 

Despite the case's dismissal, there are signs that the suit might have already changed Boy Scouts' special-needs training.

 

'This experience is a reminder to provide additional training for our leaders and parents,' said Harrop, who oversees 27,000 Scouts within L.A. County.

 

An advisory committee will review the current practices toward special-needs students and recommend ways to better serve those Scouts, Harrop told the Palisadian-Post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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