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MattR

Eagle and weed

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If Frank was a star scout at age 16, and he made Eagle Scout before he turned 18, his unit must have given him a free pass on his misconduct.  He couldn't have spent much time in the dog house.

 

What Frank did was not a solitary or isolated crime.  He exposed other scouts to his misbehavior on several occasions.  He led other scouts to take a casual attitude toward recreational drug use.

 

A Boy Scout Troop is supposed to be boy led.  It is important that the boys leading the troop show a good example to the younger boys.  Frank did not do that.  He did the exact opposite of what a boy leader should do.

 

I am disappointed that Frank's troop elected him to a position of responsibility.

 

Frank should have been banned from holding any position of responsibility for at least a year.  If he was a 16 year old star scout at the time, this should have kept him from becoming an Eagle Scout.

 

Since my Chartered Organization is a school with a zero tolerance policy, we would have pulled his membership.

 

I'm glad that Frank has had a good life.  I hope that all the boys he misled into developing a casual attitude toward illegal drug use have had an equally good life.

Edited by David CO

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Yeah, David CO, most of us don't have a stomach for zero tolerance policies.

 

The climb from purgatory might not need as many prayers as we law-keepers would like.

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In my religion, had we had zero-tolerance rules, I'd have been in Hell for some time now.

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yep, so true...... and in addition, it's not up to scouters or troops to do the punishing.  Nope, not one bit.  That's a job for parents (or the 'law')

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If Frank was a star scout at age 16, and he made Eagle Scout before he turned 18, his unit must have given him a free pass on his misconduct.  He couldn't have spent much time in the dog house.

 

What Frank did was not a solitary or isolated crime.  He exposed other scouts to his misbehavior on several occasions.  He led other scouts to take a casual attitude toward recreational drug use.

 

A Boy Scout Troop is supposed to be boy led.  It is important that the boys leading the troop show a good example to the younger boys.  Frank did not do that.  He did the exact opposite of what a boy leader should do.

 

I am disappointed that Frank's troop elected him to a position of responsibility.

 

Frank should have been banned from holding any position of responsibility for at least a year.  If he was a 16 year old star scout at the time, this should have kept him from becoming an Eagle Scout.

 

Since my Chartered Organization is a school with a zero tolerance policy, we would have pulled his membership.

 

I'm glad that Frank has had a good life.  I hope that all the boys he misled into developing a casual attitude toward illegal drug use have had an equally good life.

 

He was punished quite badly by his parents and never allowed to work at the camp that he loved again.  I never said that he wasn't punished in the Troop.  He was.  Very much.  But again, I think you're missing the whole point of Boy Scouts.   We exist to guide boys to become good men.  How would we be doing that if we were to just write him off and kick him out.  They decided to keep him in the Troop and help him understand why it was wrong.  And he did.  And because of that he became the man that he is today.

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@@krypton_son, you make good points, teenagers make mistakes and the punishment should match the transgression. At the same time the teenagers need to learn from those mistakes and there is no learning until the scout realizes he make a mistake. The big question is how to know when that happens. As I said before, I wanted to know if this scout was sorry he got caught or sorry he did something wrong. Until he realized he did something wrong I didn't want him in my troop. I suspect the same thing was going on with Frank. After his parents and his scout leaders punished him he regretted what he had done. I was hoping to get to that point with my scout but he never once showed any regret. I explicitly asked him if he thought he made a mistake and he couldn't answer the question. Until he saw that he had made a mistake he wasn't going to be in my troop. If he had I was willing to work with him, just like Frank's parents and his scout leaders did. Rather than confront his problems he decided to transfer to another troop.

 

Update on this story: The scout went to another troop. Brought cigars to a camporee and was smoking them, in his tent, with other scouts. Got caught. Lied about it. And was thrown out of scouts by the Council. Some people don't learn.

 

@@blw2, I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic or not. The problem with this scout was almost entirely due to his parents. They never held him accountable for anything. They got mad at me because I upset him over this incident. Something tells me Frank's parents were not so worried about their son being upset.

Edited by MattR
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At the same time the teenagers need to learn from those mistakes and there is no learning until the scout realizes he make a mistake.

 

You are 100% correct.  I think it's a case by case thing sometimes.  Obviously if the kid shows no remorse then kicking him out might be an option.  Or if it's an extremely violent action that he takes.  Although at heart they're kids and they make mistakes.  I think finding that line is the mark of a great Scoutmaster.

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Each situation and each scout is different.  

 

I've come to fully believe in viewing each and every situation as a question of what the scout will learn from our response.  The big challenge is different people emphasize different lessons and different results from lessons.   Sometimes throwing out the scout is the right decision.   Sometimes hard being hard nosed is the right decision.  But I've found it's just as important to keep the door open for interaction and future lessons.  Call it compassion or call it just simple logic that when you cut ties you cut your options to teach future lessons.

Edited by fred johnson
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yep, so true...... and in addition, it's not up to scouters or troops to do the punishing.  Nope, not one bit.  That's a job for parents (or the 'law')

 

You don't think schools should have the authority to discipline students?  

 

The Chartered Organization has the right to revoke the membership of any youth or adult who violate its rules and policies.

Edited by David CO

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You don't think schools should have the authority to discipline students?  

 

The Chartered Organization has the right to revoke the membership of any youth or adult who violate its rules and policies.

This didn't occur at School

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You don't think schools should have the authority to discipline students?  

 

The Chartered Organization has the right to revoke the membership of any youth or adult who violate its rules and policies.

Schools absolutely have that authority.

But zero-tolerance can undermine that.

Specifically, if a school must categorically dismiss a student, that removes any further ability to discipline.

 

Admittedly, there's a huge liability allowing superintendents to use judgement to discern between the kid who knows he/she done wrong and the one who thinks the rules just cramp his/her style.

But, I've seen it go the other way. Where schools were held liable because of applying zero tolerance to a victim acting in self-defense.

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This didn't occur at School

 

It doesn't matter.  Students are also subject to school rules on all school activities away from campus.  

 

If the boy was wearing the troop # on his uniform, he was representing the unit and the Chartered Organization.

 

Schools may disqualify a student for extra-curricular activities for drug and alcohol use, even if that use does not take place on school grounds or during an off-campus school activity.

Edited by David CO

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Schools absolutely have that authority.

But zero-tolerance can undermine that.

Specifically, if a school must categorically dismiss a student, that removes any further ability to discipline.

 

Zero-tolerance rules are nothing more than a legal ploy to pass the buck off to someone else.  It's a quick and dirty way to clean up any mess that may arise and the policy protects so that the organization can play, "You knew the rules" card and sweep it all under the rug and make it go away in a hurry.  No trial, no judgment, just wam-bam and it's all out of our hair.

 

Admittedly, there's a huge liability allowing superintendents to use judgement to discern between the kid who knows he/she done wrong and the one who thinks the rules just cramp his/her style.

But, I've seen it go the other way. Where schools were held liable because of applying zero tolerance to a victim acting in self-defense.

 

Yep, just a quick, down and dirty way of making the whole thing go away.  Everyone's guilty regardless of circumstances and everyone is treated the same, the perpetrator and the victim.  One little rule to handle every and all circumstances.  We don't have think about it, there's no judgment, no morality, just way-bam and it all goes away.

 

Someone threatens to beat up up in a no-fighting zero-tolerance policy situation?  !) you either fight back in self defense and get expelled from school, or 2) you take one for the team and end up in the hospital.  Either way, you aren't going to be in class tomorrow.

 

Zero tolerance policies are nothing more than predetermined kangaroo courts of cowards who have no intention of having to deal with true justice in the situation.

 

For me I refer the more Christian approach to these situations, which start with forgiveness and work the situation into a learning opportunity for the people to rise up from their mistakes and become a stronger person in the process.  It's all kinda fits into the character building, learn through failure process that I have found works better than zero tolerance policies. 

 

@@qwazse you are almost dead on with your comment: "Specifically, if a school must categorically dismiss a student, that removes any further ability to discipline."  I think you would prefer it worded it removed any further ability to teach and learn.

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I am surprised at how permissive scouting is today.  It seems like nothing is out-of-bounds anymore.

 

All that I can say: it's a big country. Based on experiences in my troop growing up, and some biographies of scouts pre WW-II, committees and COs have exercised varying degrees of latitude.

Now that we can talk to each other, we're beginning to realize those differences.

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