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Abusive Texting from Scout to Scoutmaster

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"Boys, I know sometimes you might think my Scoutmaster minutes are BOOOORRRRRiNNNG, but tonite I need to ask you an important question. When you email, or text someone, do you express yourself there the same way you would face to face? Or do you say things differently? Use, ummm, stronger language? Maybe try to act more, say, grown up because you think you can and not be called to task for it? Texting and email and such are NOT anonymous. Your name, your "cred" is attached. You know, the words you use, ANYWHERE, reflect on your reputation, doesn't matter whether they are vocal or electronic or on paper.

If you are the source of words, say what you mean and mean what you say,but be ready to OWN them. Be ready to DEFEND them. Be ready to take the CONSEQUENCES for them.

A Scout is Trustworthy and THAT means I am what I say.

Now, go home and tell your mother you love her. Good night."

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Very good conversation. I agree:


1-Save the Texts. Cut and Paste into a text file or something.

2-Tell the parents--doesn't have to be a big deal but they need to know.

3-For electronic communication in our Troop to maintain 2-deep I always cc: a thread to a parent for CYA purposes. If a boy really needs a heart-to-heart he can always see me in person.


When I was teaching I got burned by this, I was pretty naive and just ignored some highly suggestive emails from a female (adult) student. But I never reacted or told her to stop or blocked her--it kinda freaked me out. Eventually she threatened to blackmail me. Fortunately my bosses knew my character and hers and I did not lose my job; but I was counseled by the school attorney how bad it looked.


By the way one's wife is NEVER amused by that kind of thing "you know my student Susie well there's a funny story..."

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Thanks, everyone, for the responses. I had a SM conference with the Scout in question last night and learned that he knew he was over the line and that he has deleted all adult leaders' contact info from his phone prior to the meeting. He really impressed me with his actions last night. Turns out he just needs an outlet--someone to talk to--and I just happened to be that guy. I see a brighter future for him now. He even said he considered putting his hat in the ring for a youth leadership position. "Train 'em, Trust 'em, Let 'em lead."

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