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Threat of bodily harm and knife pulled

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why son there are no consequences for your actions?


You can threaten another scout with a knife and it is ok....


The kind hearted scouter will take you by the arm....pat you on the head and reassure you it will be alright.



Sure boys screw up, this isn't one of those you get a pass on.



What or why does the status of the troops membership matter????


You guys act like this is some sort of a grey area.

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I don't want to think back the roughly thirty years that have passed since something similar happened at a summer camp where I served as program director. It was one of those south central Ohio scorchers where temps hit 103 in the shade, and our first year camper program were doing knife safety in the relatively wide open spaces of our council ring. One of our first year campers was being exceptionally squirrely and not acknowledging the staff member's repeated request that he stop and be careful. The staff member grabbed that first year camper, putting his arm across his chest and pulling the boy into himself; he then placed the closed knife to the boy's neck and demanded that he be seated or leave. The staff member didn't make it to dinner that night.


Threats of violence are not to be treated lightly or ignored. I have to go along with many others who have said the boy with the threats needs to be removed from the troop. The three involved may be best buds in spite of it all, but the fact of the matter is that there were others who witnessed the fracas. As a unit leader, the scoutmaster has to look at all who were involved as actors or as witnesses to the action, and he must act appropriately. It is not the role of the District Commissioner, the Unit Commissioner, the DE or the District Chair to deal with an internal issue such as this was.

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1) the safety of the scouts is paramount! ANY deadly threat (and yes a knife is one) MUST be dealt with not shrugged off or glossed over


2) The zero tolerance policy is sometimes just plain stupid.

If I could give you two cases, both real, both witnessed by me,A scout who had lost his totin-chip for previous screw ups, had been faking swallowing his meds. while on a campout. I don't know what set him off but he began screaming and cursing at everyone. Then ran into his tent produced a knife (we had searched his pockets and pack but not his boots),and threatened to stab anyone who came near him. Then started the threatening to kill himself.


Second case- a young scout was cornered in a shower house by three older "scouts" who stated it was" his turn for the pounding" (the old pink belly)very scared young scout pulls knife


So... should we throw both scouts out of the troop?

I respectfully submit that one size does not fit all

As scouters we must do what ever is needed to protect our charges

just my 0.02



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Basement: to me it's a gray area, because all I know is what the OP has told me. I can't possibly know every bit of this scenario.


There are two positions here, one where the Lad stays, and one where he gets the boot. Again. The Parents, Scoutmaster, and Committee need to make that determination. Not just for the Scout, but the entire Troop.


Threats and Violence are serious matters. Certainly this Scout#3 could be a dangerous individual. He could be a real danger to other kids. Without his history, without any sort of context or information about him, I'm not ready to jump on the kick him out bandwagon.


There needs to be more information for me than: Scout3 gets hit with a taco(but seriously, who gets hit with a taco and decides to pull a knife out? Overkill????), Scout3 grabs Scout1 and threatens him, (what does threaten mean? What did the Scout actually say?), Scout1 mouths off, and Scout3 pulls his knife).


With so many critical details I haven't reached a conclusion. Certainly either way this kid needs to be facing consequences for his actions. The whole "boys will be boys" thing doesn't apply here.


Respectfully yours,


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In Boy Scouts, our "CCW" for knives is earning the Totin' Chip. As one can see, a certified knife holder (Scout who has earned the Totin' Chip) may act in a irresponsible manner. Also, just like firearms, you can see there is not a universal agreement to the justifiable use of such a weapon. Pulling a knife = dismissal from the Troop... nothing else really matters. vs. #3 was justified in threatening #1 as self defense. From my perspective, that is why I prefer adults don't carry weapons. :)


Now, "pulled a knife" is a very loose term and I think the age of these Scouts is very relevant. In our troop, I think I've described a knife throwing incident before on this forum. An eleven year old lost his temper and threw his (pocket) knife at another Scout. No injuries - the patrol was on their way out to go to the various stations of a camp-o-ree. In our case, I talked the Scout at hand, took his knife and later gave it to his father and described what happened (I was not present at the incident) and let the father deal with it as he thought he should.


Yes, at this age, the boys forgot about it in about 10 minutes. Boys at this age will sometimes taunt a peer until a reaction occurs. Lesson learned on all sides.

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Ok all, chatted with the SM tonight, told him that I posed the question of what to do to you all, sent him the link to the discussion as he is quite interested in views. I don't know if he can join fast enough but if he can't post, I'll have him email me and i'll cut and paste if he chooses to add anything.The unit is going to take it up with MC,COR etc.

I can add it was actually 2 incidents and the ages are 15/16.

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Yah, OK ramblinrosey.


I'm goin' to speculate here based on da ages that this is a dying troop. No recruiting/retention for years, just a few high schoolers left? Program consists of a dad or two takin' 'em out to events occasionally, maybe tryin' to get 'em to finish Eagle?


In that case, on your side as a DC yeh have some bigger picture choices to make. Is it time to let this unit die? What are da local demographics like? Can the area really support this unit while keepin' others strong? Is there a really big unit that has hit its size limit nearby, where yeh can recruit some stronger adults and some kids lookin' for a new challenge to "take over" this unit as a restart project?


I've never seen these small dying units function well scouting-wise. Generally yeh get these situations because of weaker leadership which allows for poor kid behavior. Addressin' the kid behavior as an outsider doesn't change da leadership issue which allowed for it.


I may be completely off base, and it does seem like there is a new SM (old SM was #3's dad? That would explain some things, too). As a DC, though, this is da sort of thing yeh should be thinking about, and perhaps talking with da COR/IH about.




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We do not have all the relevant facts.


To me, whether a troop too small to run a Scouting program survives or not is of limited relevance. There are probably other opportunities for the boys who want to go on. They might even get to experience Scouting.


This is not just the Troop's or TC's call. It happened within Scouting and within one or more jurisdictions. As I recall, Scouting has had some problems thinking it could deal with aberrant behavior as if the rest of society has no interest to be protected.


"Cut a corner off the Totin' Chip. Reiterate the principles of the Totin' chip."

IMO, this is a poor joke, whether actually meant or not. IF a person threatened another person with a knife, that is serious and criminal.


Few of us are professionals when it comes to dealing with violent behavior. Recall Master Dirty's advice: "A man's got to know his limitations."


Our DE's average tenure is under 18 months. They are liberal arts BA's with only BSA training. Regardless of theory, they do not seem like much of a resource. However, Council should have access to trained professionals, as would Child Protection Services.


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Well Well


Zero Tolerance

By The Book

Have Scout Arrested for Assault with a Deadly Weapon, making Terroristic Threats

Have Judicial System Deal with the Problem


They Can...provide Mental Counselling, Mental Health...

Judicial System can make or Break the Scout back into a Viable Citizen or the Can Turn them into a Hardened Criminal..


That way Nobody Can Blame Boy Scouts for Anything..

BSA Needs a 1 Strike Rule to protect BSA


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Council should have access to trained professionals, as would Child Protection Services.


Yah, I always get a chuckle out of this.


Childrens' Services agencies in most states are charged with dealin' with child abuse and neglect situations. They tend to be overworked, understaffed, relatively bureaucratic agencies.


They are not there to support you in dealin' with an ordinary youth program issue of a lad misbehaving. When yeh call CPS for stuff outside their mandate like this which falls in da realm of "just do your job" as a parent or youth leader, it means they have less time to focus on tryin' to document the kid whose parent is abusing him, and work to get him help.


Law enforcement and da courts are there to handle the capture and punishment of criminals, and the general maintenance of social order. They tend to be overworked, understaffed, with much higher priority stuff goin' on. When you call law enforcement for teenage behavior like this, know that you're increasing the response time for someone who may need the police for a real crime, and you're boggin' down da courts with foolishness.


Dealin' with kid behaviors and sending kids home to their parents is part of being a youth leader. If yeh aren't up to that, there are other jobs in Scouting that don't involve front-line youth service that yeh should consider.




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I think the responses on both sides stem from the reluctance to come up to the parent and say we got a problem. No one likes to hear their child criticized. So behavior goes unchecked.


You gotta combine compassion with backbone and it is easier said than done.

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And, again, how many of you are trained professionals in dealing with youth violence? Oh. Sorry,"lad misbehaving"? Maybe you are, but I suspect few Scouting volunteers are professionals.


There have been instances in my areas of Board Certified experts voluntarily giving their time to look into such instances because Council asked them to do so. Do they get blown off as well?


After we communicate what happened to the parent(s) of the lad with the knife, who else has a right to be told? The parents of the other lad? Parents of other lads who will be around that lad in the future?


And we still don't know exactly what happened. Did his merely display the knife? Did he point it? Gesture with it? What was the knife-pulling lad's - attitude? Smiling? Snarling? What words, if any, accompanied pulling the knife on the other lad? We don't know if this was as instance of "ordinary program" pulling a knife on someone or extraordinary "program" pulling a knife on someone. Explain the difference, please, so we mere mortal clay can know in the future.


Why is it people can accept that first aiders are not medical pros but think they are professionals in dealing with matters of what goes on in kid's brains?

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