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Boy Scouts helped alleged molesters cover tracks, files show

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SP writes


Abel Magwitch wants to make this issue the problem of BSA and Scouting. That's an easy and futile way to ignore a tough problem that has EVIL PEOPLE as the culprits, not Scouting


The issue deals with corporate BSA; the paid managers of the corporation. If the allegations are found to be true, then shame on those managing the corporation for making these cowardly decisions, some of which have directly hurt youth as the BSA found out in the Oregon case.


I wonder if the Nuremburg excuse I mean defense will be brought into play by some corporate scouters should they find themselves with their feet to the fire?


A Los Angeles Times review of 1,600 confidential files dating from 1970 to 1991 has found that Scouting officials frequently urged admitted offenders to quietly resign and helped many cover their tracks


Volunteers and employees suspected of abuse were allowed to leave citing bogus reasons such as business demands, "chronic brain dysfunction" and duties at a Shakespeare festival


Covering tracks and bogus reasons are not conducive to youth protection, timeless values or moral character, something that the BSA is supposed to stand for.


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Beavah writes:

Yeah, that's why it's important to get the legal system involved instead of just having amateurs make arbitrary judgements.


Yah, because da "professionals" in the legal system are so much better at it, eh?


Yes, they really are. They have to follow actual rules.

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Yes, they really are. They have to follow actual rules.


No, they're really not.


They are every bit as susceptible to bias and cronyism as anybody else, and da actual "rules" they have to follow necessarily require "beyond a reasonable doubt" level of proof in order to proceed, while accordin' maximum protection against invasive action by law enforcement. Plus, they have to have the funds and staff time available for a thorough investigation and prosecution to establish that level of proof. Then they have to have da staff without too high a workload to actually monitor terms of probation and all the rest.


Very few of da cases where volunteers or workers should be removed from positions have anywhere near da level of proof to be able to proceed with a prosecution.




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What I got out from all of this is that it's a new environment we live in. The Catholic Church, Penn State, and BSA, are finding out that it's easier for stories to break into the national media and get blastered all over. Lesson for today, don't try to hide things to "protect the organization's image." In the end when it all comes out, the organization's image gets trashed because they knew about something and didn't do the right thing.

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A version of this "news" story is in my local paper today, with the name and photo of a local offender...who was arrested in 1984. Not sure what the point is of putting old news on the front page, without much coverage of the CURRENT BSA youth protection procedures. And both the offender and the SE of that era are both deceased. It makes the SE out to be culpable, so I'm sure his family appreciates that.

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Just got this email from the Denver Area Council which was sent to all the parents and scouter. Trying to get out in front. I think it was well written.




Dear Scouting Parent, Leader and Friend,


We recognize you have entrusted to Scouting the development and safety of your child. We are honored by your faith in this organization and want you to know these are top priorities. In this period of heightened awareness about youth safety, we want to share with you Scoutings many important programs, policies, and procedures that help protect our members.


We are committed to consistently strengthening and enhancing our Youth Protection measures and, in recent decades, have expanded our programs significantly as more information and new techniques and technologies have become available to us. Recently, experts in youth safety and the media have acknowledged the strength of our Youth Protection programs in place today:


"The Boy Scouts of America is one group advocates say has gone farthest to institute such measures to safeguard kids." (MSNBC, November 2011)


"The Scouts current prevention policies are considered state of the art and several independent child-protection experts told The Associated Press that the Scoutsthough buffeted in the past by many abuse-related lawsuitsare now considered a leader in combating sexual abuse. 'The Boy Scouts have the most advanced policies and training,' said Victor Vieth, a former prosecutor who heads the National Child Protection Training Center in Minnesota." (Associated Press, January 2012)


We want to ensure that you are aware of our Youth Protection programs, policies, and procedures so you know what to expect of our organization.


Our safeguards include the following:


All volunteers must complete a rigorous application and screening process before joining Scouting. As part of this requirement, applicants must provide references and submit to a national criminal background check. We also verify that our organization has not received any prior allegations of misconduct on the volunteers part by checking names in our Ineligible Volunteer Files. Our goal is to ensure that all adult volunteers represent the values and character outlined in the Scout Oath and Scout Law and are good leaders for your child.


All volunteers are required to complete Youth Protection training and must renew the training every two years. This training is accessible to the general public online at www.Scouting.org, under the Youth Protection tab. Please review the training, as it provides important information about detecting and preventing abuse, no matter where it may occur.


Scoutings two-deep leadership policy requires at least two adults to be present for all Scouting activities. No youth should ever be alone with a Scout leader for any reason.


Every Boy Scout and Cub Scout handbook includes a pamphlet to help parents teach their children how to recognize, resist, and report abuse. If you havent done so already, please immediately review and discuss this information with your child. A copy of the pamphlet and other youth-oriented literature is available under the Youth Protection tab on our website.


All Scouting activities are open to parents, and we encourage families to enjoy Scouting together.


Anyone suspected of inappropriate behavior will be immediately and permanently banned from Scouting. If you ever have any concerns about your childs safety, please contact the Boy Scouts of America, Denver Area Council at 303.455.5522. Our after-hours emergency contact number is 501.538.4943. The purpose of this number is to report a Youth Protection emergency or a fatal or serious injury (one that requires hospitalization) during non-business hours.


These measures are by no means the full extent of our efforts, but given the media attention youth-serving organizations, including Scouting, have recently received, we wanted to share some of the most important aspects of our program. Additional information and resources can be accessed by visiting http://www.scouting.org/youthprotection.aspx


While we continuously evaluate and strengthen our Youth Protection programs, we recognize that abuse can happen anywhere, even in Scouting. You may have heard recent news surrounding the release of certain Ineligible Volunteer Files. Today on Monday, September 17th, The Denver Post published a story from the Los Angeles Times about the Ineligible Volunteer Files. While they used a slightly different set of IV Files (19701991), which were produced in 1991 during litigation in California, they do include a majority of the files that will be released in Oregon (19651985).


The Oregon Supreme Court upheld a lower courts order to release 1,247 of our Ineligible Volunteer Files from the years 1965 to 1985. We now expect these files will be released in redacted form during a press conference held by plaintiffs attorney Kelly Clark later in the next 3-4 weeks and circulated to additional media electronically.


Ineligible Volunteer Files, still in use today, help keep people deemed to be unfit leaders out of Scouting. Still, we believe constant vigilance is the best protection. In Scouting, we tell everyone involved with our programs that "Youth Protection begins with you." That means each of us has a role to play in keeping kids safe.


As the files are released, we expect a significant amount of attention from media and the Scouting community, which are likely to have questions about the files, our Youth Protection policies, and, in some cases, about incidents directly related to our council, even if they are outside of the time period of the released files.


The Boy Scouts of America believes any occurrence of abuse is unacceptable, and we regret there have been times when the BSAs best efforts to protect children were insufficient. For that we are deeply sorry and extend our deepest sympathies to victims. We are committed to helping members in our Scouting family who have suffered abuse and assisting them through a variety of means, including counseling.


In the more than 30 years since these released files were created, we have continuously enhanced our multi-tiered policies and procedures, which now include criminal background checks, comprehensive training programs, and safety policies, and mandatory reporting to law enforcement of abuse or suspicion of abuse. We have always cooperated fully with any request from law enforcement and today require our members to report even suspicion of abuse directly to their local authorities. We are committed to the ongoing enhancement of our program, in line with evolving best practices for protecting youth.


As someone who directly interacts with Scouts, their parents, and other volunteers on a regular basis, you will likely be a first point of contact for questions, and we are asking for your help in reassuring and preserving their trust. Below, we have provided guidelines for dealing with any inquiries you might receive as well as some messaging you can use.


If you are contacted by a member of the media, please be polite but refrain from providing any comment on a specific case or anything pertaining to the files. If asked about the BSAs Youth Protection program, speak only from the talking points that have been provided to you. Please refer media inquiries to (John Cabeza, Scout Executive/CEO or Nicole Cosme, Director of Marketing & Communications at 303.455.5522) or to the BSA National Media Support Team at 855-870-2178.


Reports of Current or Recent Suspicious or Inappropriate Behavior should be handled with the care and personal sensitivity befitting this issue and in accordance with the BSAs mandatory reporting policy. Also, after reporting the suspicion to authorities, refer it to both youth.protection@scouting.org and to Michael Johnson, our Youth Protection director, at 972-580-2359.

Additional information and resources can be accessed on our dedicated Youth Protection website at www.bsayouthprotection.org. We encourage you to look through this site and become familiar with all of the new and updated information we have provided.


Thank you again for all that you do to help keep Scouts safe.


Yours in Scouting,


John Cabeza

Scout Executive/CEO

Boy Scouts of America, Denver Area Council



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The letter Cito shares is vey interesting. Too bad the major media outlets in the my area are only reporting tonight that "The Boy Scouts of America hid and covered up hundreds of child molesters, according to court records just released."

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As others have pointed out, it's not the crime, it's the cover-up...or at least, the public's perception that there is a cover-up. It's not enough to point fingers and try to claim that one group who works with youth are somehow "worse" than your favored group to try to score some kind of ideological point on behalf of your side. We need instead to ask if there are safeguards in place to protect youth against predators; whether those safeguards are appropriate and effective; whether innocent adults are being protected against false accusations; and whether there is a reporting mechanism that documents abuse allegations and reports them to the appropriate law enforcement agency for investigation. This mechanism has to have not only mandated reporting requirements, but also a sense of buy-in from the members of the profession. A clear, easily understood standard has to be applied. And that's where organizations fall down.


Educators, who seem to be the profession with the highest rate of sexual abuse against minors, have as bad (or worse) track record than religious institutions in this regard, largely because both have historically relied on "on the job" training as a means of youth protection training and the identification of what an "abuser" would be like. As in any other professions, there is a sense of collegiality between its members that acts to protect its members whether they are innocent or guilty. Penn State is nothing new. It's been a persistent problem for both the education establishment and the medical establishment, as documented in research over at least the last two decades.


A 1990 study found that only 40% of maltreatment cases and 35% of the most serious cases known to professionals who are mandated by law to report were, in fact, reported to the child protection system. A study done a decade later found that 65% of social workers, 53% of physicians, and 58% of physician assistants were not reporting the cases of abuse they were mandated to report (both non-sexual physical abuse and sexual abuse). The study was reported in Steven Delaronde, et al., Opinions Among Mandated Reporters Toward Child Maltreatment Reporting Policies, 24 CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT 901, 905 (2000).


In a survey, 197 teachers were given 2 hypothetical cases of abuse - in the first, the teachers were asked of they would make a report if a student told them a stepfather had been touching their genitals. Only 26% of the teachers said they would. In the second hypothetical, the teachers were asked if they would make a report if a student told them that another teacher was touching their genitals. Only 11% of the teachers said they would report such an abuse allegation involving a colleague to the authorities. The study was reported in Maureen c. Kenny, Child Abuse Reporting: Teachers' Perceived Deterrents, 25 CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT 81, 88 (2001).


In that same study, 73% of teachers reported that they had NEVER made a report of potential child abuse; those who said they had averaged only one report, despite an average of 10 years teaching experience among the study group. Of those who had, the majorityonly made a report to a supervisor, and did not follow up with a report to law enforcement.


Poor training is probably a big culprit in this - we may complain about the mandated youth safety training in the BSA, and lay and clerical workers may complain about the mandated youth safety training that the Catholic Church has mandated for anyone who comes into contact with a child in a parish, but that minimal level of training by both organizations is head and shoulders above most organizations, including educational professionals. A 2011 study that contacted 1,400 mandated reporters in Pennsylvania found that 14% said they had NEVER received any mandated reporter training, and 24% said they had not received any mandated reporter training in the past 5 years. What training they received may have been inadequate - about 80% of the respondents said the training was not approved for continuing education credits or they were uncertain.


Undergraduate level training in child maltreatment is almost non-existent in most educational programs for criminal justic, social work, human services, nursing, medicine, psychology, sociology, or education. Only 29% of those programs in 1,416 colleges and universities had ANY course work on child maltreatment, and then almost all in sociology or psychology departments. NONE of those 1,416 had a concentration, much less a minor, on child maltreatment. The graduate programs are no better.


And we should probably take a historical look - no other organization did any better than the BSA in the relevant period on the abuse issue, and there was a lot of misinformation that was widely accepted. A lot of the information on how to deal with the abuse situation that WAS accurate and effective got brushed aside as new psychological and social theories came to the forefront in the 1960s and 1970s.(This message has been edited by AZMike)

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Yes, they really are. They have to follow actual rules.


Michael Corleone: My father is no different than any powerful man, any man with power, like a president or senator.

Kay Adams: Do you know how naive you sound, Michael? Presidents and senators don't have men killed.

Michael: Oh. Who's being naive, Kay?

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Abel, I am sure SP knew what you were referring to. The point is, there really is no need to bring up the Nuremberg defense in a discussion like this, especially when you were just speculating.


The reality -- at least, the past reality -- is bad enough without that.

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