Jump to content

Recommended Posts

It is unconscionable that the SE will not return your calls on a Youth Protection matter. If you have the resources, I would contact an attorney to write him a certified letter, copy to Mr. Roy Williams, Chief Scout Executive in Irving. You MUST not let this slide. The best answer is not to give up and find another troop...this leader needs to be removed and possibly charged.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 37
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Maybe the reason she is not getting the answer that she wants to hear is that they have looked into it and resolved it. Maybe after looking into issue there never was a problem except for a boy who exagerated what happened and an overprotective mother. Maybe the SM apologized just to quiet her down. I mean 2 years is a long time to wait.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with an earlier poster (nldscout) that it is difficult to know the whole story from listening to one side. I would be very curious to hear what the boy who was involved has to say. The mother is very upset and possibly rightly so. However, I would like to know the boys take on what happened and what his desires are now (stay in the troop, transfer, drop out, etc.) and why.


I do know this. Boys at this age respond to physical contact. Now wait a minute, I'm not advocating that Scouters "get physical" with the boys or endorsing corporal punishment in any way. But those who really understand the psychological make-up of adolescent boys know that talking to them is sometimes like talking to a post. For some of the youth in our troop, I will make physical contact with them, i.e. place my hand on their shoulder, touch the bill of their cap, etc. and then and only then will I really get their attention. This is not a form a discipline (I don't do it to repremand in any way) but only to make sure I have their attention.


I did notice that one boy (taller than me by the way) who was in the troop acted very frightened the first time I placed my hand on his shoulder. Later, I learned from his mother that his father was physically abusive so I became very aware of my interaction with her son since then. Not all boys are the same (duh!).


Absolutely, striking a Scout (or any youth in my opinion) is unacceptable. However, just like the great "spanking" debate, others may feel differently. Before we bring in federal, state or local authorities, I would ask what the youth desires, "educate" the SM on what is acceptable and not acceptable for his behavior (both physical and verbal) and also make sure the youth learns from his mistakes too. I have a hard time believing that other parents would be happy with such a leader regardless of which youth he was "venting" at.(This message has been edited by acco40)

Link to post
Share on other sites

It is clear if you look at the original post that there is no question that this boy was assaulted:


1. there was physical injury - the boy's mouth was cut.


2. There was a witness - another scout.


3. The boy scout leader admitted his misconduct to the mother at the time. I don't believe a leader would apologize for something he didn't do.


It sounds like the response from the leader's "higher ups" has been wholly inadequate. They have been given more than enough time to do the right thing in accordance with established policies as have been described here.


I am not involved in Boy Scouts, and I can't speak to official policies. As a mother, however, I think enough damage has been done. I would take the boy out of this leader's troop whether or not any legal action is taken against the leader.


Just my 2 cents.




Link to post
Share on other sites

mgaesser, Welcome to the forums but I am saddened by the circumstances. A leader who has done what you stated is a coward and dangerous to remain in his position. I agree with Evmori, there is no good reason for an adult to strike a boy. You evidently have notified BSA regarding the incident. If their response is inadequate (and it seems to be) I suggest that an attorney will make things happen. And a criminal investigation might be in order. "Be always sure you are right then Go, ahead" (Davy Crockett). Don't leave scouting, show your son how to pursue justice.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with gsmom. The fact that there was a witness, noticeable cut on the mouth and an apology by the leader is enough evidence for me. I understand that at times we think that if we just sit back and be passive perhaps the relationship will approve, but it won't. If your son is already seeking therapy for undisclosed reasons, please do not add to his emotional baggage by leaving him in this stressful situation. Doing so will only result in his resentment and displeasure for scouting. You need to find him a new troop immediately! I would also be very weary of him atending camp with this leader.


If you are truly concerned for your son, then get him out of this abusive situation. And then feel free to deal with all parties involved. I'm sure your son will blossom under the right leadership and in time he will adjust and make new friends.


Good luck!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Why would you want your son to go to camp with this troop?


Despite his having (some) friends in this troop -knowing kids, the attitude the leadership has towards him will filter down to the kids. the kids will treat him as the group scapegoat and your son will be miserable. Why would you want to set him up for such treatment?


this is the time when it is the parent's obligation to exert their parental perogative in protecting their child and take him OUT of this troop. don't ask him - tell him. Give him a choice of other troops, or make him a Scout in an individual program (can't remember the name for it right now. By letting this go for so long and allowing your son to endure the situation for two years, you are letting him down and setting him up for failure and self-esteem problems. (I'm sorry if that sounds harsh - but for me - the BOY ALWAYS COMES FIRST)


As independant as we want our boys to be - sometimes as parents we must step in and take the decisions away from them. this is one of those times.


there is no way you are going to "win" this situation. even if you get the SM expelled, as he rightfully deserves, this has gone on too long and will leave a bad taste in everyones mouth. Even if you 'win' your case, you son has already 'lost' in poor treatment, hurt feelings and lost scouting opportunities.


I would get him in another troop, be honest about your son's own difficulties and problems to avoid any future problems, and work with the troop in making the boy comfortable and giving the leadership the information they need to deal with him.


Reading between the lines of your posts - I suspect that your son either has some kind of behavior or learning disability that makes him not fit the "norm" and that this leader and other leaders may have a problem dealing with him. IN NO WAY do i condone the treatment of this boy by the leader in question or his troop as a whole - but if the boy HAS a difficulty, the parents need to be involved to help and educate the leadership to deal with his needs.


I am a parent of an ADHD/ gifted scout myself. we have quite a few in our troop who are ADHD, ODD, autistic ,depression, learning disabilities, health problems and simple teenage obstinance. I have become an advocate for these boys - trying to bridge the gap between them and their families, and the leadership that has 'ordinary' kids without problems who often think "all that kid needs is discipline, consequences and a smack on the behind". some of these leaders will never be convinced that these boys TRULY have a problem or disability. but you can control the adults behavior and treatment of the boys by KNOWING the program and its youth protection rules, insisting on training and adherance to the rules. BSA understands the problems these boys are facing, even if individual leaders don't "buy" into believing in behavioral problems.


Protect your son, get him out of the troop.

Protect your son by 'setting him up to succeed' - working WITH his new troop leadership to avoid potential pitfalls.

Protect the other boys by pursuing appropriate discipline for this leader to the fullest extent.



Link to post
Share on other sites

Again, I thank you all for your responses. I'd like to elaborate a bit on my son. First, I've been thinking back to other leader's impressions. While he was in Cub Scouts, I never heard a complaint from a leader about my son. In fact, I was usually complemented on his behavior often in respect to his peers. During his first year of Boy Scouts, there were also no negative comments. In fact, he was one of the most enthusiastic "new boys" who attended every camp out and activity, including summer camp. He was also one of the two (out of 6) new boys who earned the Star rank early. I think that this is why the incident at the Jamboree was so shocking and probably why I kept hoping it would be resolved and things would go back to the way they were before. I also haven't heard complaints from other parents or leaders about my son either before or since that incident.

Some of the other boys in the troop have been suspended from school. One has been in trouble with the police. My son has never been suspended or even had a detention at school for aggressive or disrespectful behavior. He is in the gifted program although school has been difficult for him for the last two years due to depression which is why he is in therapy.

I really appreciated the comment from the leader who wrote about touching a boy who had been abused by his father and then realizing that different boys need different approaches.

My son has been abused by his father (which is another reason for his depression and therapy). However, I spoke to the leaders about this from the day my son started in the troop so that they would be aware. I have also kept them updated about his medication and therapy.

As for being in the troop and summer camp, I am struggling with this because I absolutely don't feel that I can send my son with this leader again. It's difficult because my son wants to be in this troop but I am looking into other troops or the possibility of individual scouting. I guess I'm just SO ANGRY that we've been put in this situation. My son's therapist is involved in Scouting and has been very helpful about all this. Hopefully, he will be able to stay with scouting and get to enjoy the benefits which I know scouting can provide. Thanks.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...