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MattR

Eagle and weed

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It is often very effective, and of great use.  That's why we use it.

 

 

By the time the zero tolerance policy is used, it has already failed in its purpose.  The poliies were designed to deter behavior, if someone does not heed the deterence an engages in the prohibited behavior (by inadvertance, accident or intentional act -- which it is doesn't matter for zero tolerance) then the policy has failed.

 

Discretion, on the other hand, allows for the same deterence -- knowing there will be a consequence -- but also allows for recognition of the wrong, the ability to redress the wrong and an opportunity to prove that you have learned from the mistake.  

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By the time the zero tolerance policy is used, it has already failed in its purpose.  The poliies were designed to deter behavior, if someone does not heed the deterence an engages in the prohibited behavior (by inadvertance, accident or intentional act -- which it is doesn't matter for zero tolerance) then the policy has failed.

 

Discretion, on the other hand, allows for the same deterence -- knowing there will be a consequence -- but also allows for recognition of the wrong, the ability to redress the wrong and an opportunity to prove that you have learned from the mistake.  

 

Some people can't be deterred.

 

Zero tolerance policies are not designed solely to deter behavior.  They are also designed to remove people who we cannot deter.

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Seriously? Those who can't be deterred are to be "removed"? That is how we are all supposed to be getting along?

 

That's gotta make "help other people at all times" kinda difficult. Sounds like helping our own impossible, let alone "others".

 

Sorry, but zero tolerance anything runs contrary to my moral upbringing.

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My approach to scouts not acting scout-like has always been, you break it, you fix it. The level of fixing matches the size of hole they make. In this case it was a deep hole. Loss of trust was a big issue. He couldn't just talk his way out of this one. Other scouts were also an issue as they knew what happened and were watching. There is a point where the hole is too big. For this scout it was. I told him make it right and we can talk but he didn't even try. He left the troop. So, maybe what I did and what David would have done with a zero tolerance policy weren't so far apart. David wouldn't have given him a chance and I gave him a chance that I knew was a long shot. The more I learned about this kid and his friends and his history I just knew he didn't have it in him to fix this. I would have been happy had he tried but he didn't. He wanted eagle more than he wanted to fix things so he left the troop.

 

Skip's story about the scouts that found the troop with the alcohol just doesn't translate well to people that live in the US. When I was a kid, living in Europe, there was no age limit on drinking. We drank. Nobody cared. Four days ago I was carded. I'm closing in on 60. How stupid is that? I recently went to a class reunion and we all talked about how we could just go places and do stuff on our own in Europe without adults. We got into more trouble but we also had to fix those problems. We also went out on our own more.

 

These two stories illustrate how hard it is to motivate scouts to make good decisions. Leave them alone so they make decisions means some of them will be bad. It gives them opportunity to learn how to fix things but there's always pressure to prevent them from making bad decisions. What I'm finding now with my troop is that scouts have no idea how to solve people problems. Not how to apologize, or disagree with someone. They would much rather hope it all just goes away on its own. Getting a scout to admit to himself that he did something wrong is a huge first step in fixing anything. In hindsight, I look at the kid with the marijuana and there was no way he was going to fix the mess he was in.

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With zero-tolerance policies in place, no one ever has to figure out how to fix anything.  No need to own up to anything, no need to apologize, no need to try and fix it.  Just move on to the next situation in life and do something different next time.

 

Somehow I find it difficult to understand how our kids today are going to grow up with nothing but burnt bridges in their wake.

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My approach to scouts not acting scout-like has always been, you break it, you fix it. The level of fixing matches the size of hole they make. In this case it was a deep hole. Loss of trust was a big issue. He couldn't just talk his way out of this one. Other scouts were also an issue as they knew what happened and were watching. There is a point where the hole is too big. For this scout it was. I told him make it right and we can talk but he didn't even try. He left the troop. So, maybe what I did and what David would have done with a zero tolerance policy weren't so far apart. David wouldn't have given him a chance and I gave him a chance that I knew was a long shot. The more I learned about this kid and his friends and his history I just knew he didn't have it in him to fix this. I would have been happy had he tried but he didn't. He wanted eagle more than he wanted to fix things so he left the troop.

 

Skip's story about the scouts that found the troop with the alcohol just doesn't translate well to people that live in the US. When I was a kid, living in Europe, there was no age limit on drinking. We drank. Nobody cared. Four days ago I was carded. I'm closing in on 60. How stupid is that? I recently went to a class reunion and we all talked about how we could just go places and do stuff on our own in Europe without adults. We got into more trouble but we also had to fix those problems. We also went out on our own more.

 

These two stories illustrate how hard it is to motivate scouts to make good decisions. Leave them alone so they make decisions means some of them will be bad. It gives them opportunity to learn how to fix things but there's always pressure to prevent them from making bad decisions. What I'm finding now with my troop is that scouts have no idea how to solve people problems. Not how to apologize, or disagree with someone. They would much rather hope it all just goes away on its own. Getting a scout to admit to himself that he did something wrong is a huge first step in fixing anything. In hindsight, I look at the kid with the marijuana and there was no way he was going to fix the mess he was in.

 

I agree.  I don't think we are really that far apart.

 

From my experience, scouts will leave if we impose any significant consequence on them.  So the question of zero tolerance or sliding scale is moot.  

 

I find this true in school as well.  Any significant consequence (punishment or low grades) will almost always result in the parents sending their kid(s) to another school.  

 

It wasn't always this way, but this is the reality we live with today.

Edited by David CO

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My approach to scouts not acting scout-like has always been, you break it, you fix it. The level of fixing matches the size of hole they make. In this case it was a deep hole. Loss of trust was a big issue. He couldn't just talk his way out of this one. Other scouts were also an issue as they knew what happened and were watching. There is a point where the hole is too big. For this scout it was. I told him make it right and we can talk but he didn't even try. He left the troop. So, maybe what I did and what David would have done with a zero tolerance policy weren't so far apart. David wouldn't have given him a chance and I gave him a chance that I knew was a long shot. The more I learned about this kid and his friends and his history I just knew he didn't have it in him to fix this. I would have been happy had he tried but he didn't. He wanted eagle more than he wanted to fix things so he left the troop.

 

With zero-tolerance policies there is NO CHANCE at forgiveness and rectifying the situation.  The scout may choose to not fix things, but that's his choice.  With zero-tolerance that option is off the table so there is no need for remorse, trying better, making things right, rebuilding trust and developing character.  It's a pronouncement by some authority that the situation is over and done with and the offending party has no recourse in the situation.  Of course the only lesson to be taught is - don't bother apologizing or trying to fix anything,  it isn't going to do any good. 

 

We all learn from our mistakes.  Zero-tolerance is the "line in the sand" that says go someplace else to grow up, you're not welcomed here.

 

Skip's story about the scouts that found the troop with the alcohol just doesn't translate well to people that live in the US. When I was a kid, living in Europe, there was no age limit on drinking. We drank. Nobody cared. Four days ago I was carded. I'm closing in on 60. How stupid is that? I recently went to a class reunion and we all talked about how we could just go places and do stuff on our own in Europe without adults. We got into more trouble but we also had to fix those problems. We also went out on our own more.

 

These two stories illustrate how hard it is to motivate scouts to make good decisions. Leave them alone so they make decisions means some of them will be bad. It gives them opportunity to learn how to fix things but there's always pressure to prevent them from making bad decisions. What I'm finding now with my troop is that scouts have no idea how to solve people problems. Not how to apologize, or disagree with someone. They would much rather hope it all just goes away on its own. Getting a scout to admit to himself that he did something wrong is a huge first step in fixing anything. In hindsight, I look at the kid with the marijuana and there was no way he was going to fix the mess he was in.

 

With zero-tolerance policies, what is there to fix?  What problem is there to solve?  Apologies fall on deaf ears, with the schools implementing zero-policies on everything with a school handbook that covers every minutia of policy regimen, there's no need to disagree, just look in "the book" for all answers to life and it's all there with simple answers for the myriad of  situations one will face in life.

 

In all my years of working with youth in a variety of different situations, I have never had a "handbook of rules", no by-laws, no zero-policies, no behavior contracts to sign and I have not had youth that have been a major problem and for the most part I find them no different today than they were 45 years ago when I started working with them.  ADULT discipline, perceptions, and expectations have majorly changed, but the kids are pretty much still kids.

Edited by Stosh

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In my mind, zero tolerance is acting on bad behavior without empathy. I believe MattR was very empathetic when he guided the scout toward what he felt was the best course of growth in the circumstances. MattR was trying to teach a life lesson and I would have reacted very much the same.

 

At some point in each person's life, they have to be treated as adults. I believe a 17 year old boy is no longer a boy, he is a man. MattR's scout was lucky because MattR gave him an opportunity to act humbly and start a process of healing for him and those who suffered from his act. Instead the young man chose the path of pride and will suffer for a long time.

 

Some here say kids today are same as yesterday, but those same posters also whine about helicopter parents. You can't have one without the other. My observation of young adults today is their lack of humility. Pride is the antonym of humility, and without humility, humans are stuck wallowing in an egocentric world.

 

At some point, our sons and daughters have to make adult decisions and learn to react to those decisions with outward virtuous actions . I once met a teacher who preached to his parent friends over and over that we have to put our kids in as many decision making situations that we can so they they will practice and developed into decision making experts by they time they are adults. That is exactly what the Scouting program is about and why I am so passionate about it. But Scouting can't do it all, our community is supposed to guide our young people as well.

 

Barry

Edited by Eagledad
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I don't know if it is pride or pragmatism.  The scout could probably achieve his goal faster and more reliably if he changed units and started with a clean slate.

 

Some boys (and some parents) act on cold calculated self-interest.  They don't want empathy, they want results.

 

What they want may be an Eagle rank, it may be a starting spot on the football team, it may be straight A's. Whatever it is that they want, they won't let anything or anybody stand in their way of getting it.

 

Be prepared.

Edited by David CO

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A positive action of growth in my mind would have started admitting remorse, not finding the next step to getting the Eagle.

 

Barry

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A positive action of growth in my mind would have started admitting remorse, not finding the next step to getting the Eagle.

 

Barry

 

I totally agree.

 

Wouldn't it be great if the scout accepted responsibility for his actions, and their consequences, and came to a meeting to apologize.  Not to complain.  Not to be let back in.  Not to get an Eagle.  Just to apologize.

 

That would show some positive growth and character.

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If a boy has been removed from the troop, all teaching moments are off the table. Nothing to fix.  Apologies are only the first step in a repairable situation, otherwise, it's better to invest one's time and energy in developing a better relationship somewhere else.

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If a boy has been removed from the troop, all teaching moments are off the table. Nothing to fix.  Apologies are only the first step in a repairable situation, otherwise, it's better to invest one's time and energy in developing a better relationship somewhere else.

 

Yep, that's the attitude I was talking about.

 

A sincere apology is offered without any ambition to get something in return.  It is an acknowledgement of wrongdoing and an expression of regret.

 

Anything else is just manipulation.

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The acceptance of a sincere apology does not automatically follow with a forbearance of the consequences of the misconduct. 

 

A boy who offers a sincere apology should understand that he will still have to take his lumps.  If he considers this to be a waste of breath, then it is not a sincere apology.

Edited by David CO

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