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CricketEagle

Unprofessional response on bullying from local and national

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All,

 

Our troop went through a bad experience, made far worse by the unprofessional work of our council and national. I am curious to see if anyone else has had similar experiences.

 

Long story made short: sneaky now former scout was the prime aggressor in a bullying incident. That now former scout made very exaggerated counter claims to cover himself. Parents of said scout wrote letter to council which was forwarded onto national triggering an incident investigation.

 

Before you all jump to conclusions: All BSA and our charter org rules were followed. We had all ready forwarded a low level behavior report to district and council and had informed our charted org immediately. Parents were notified, items documented at the time including the absurd response from the aggressor's parents when notified of the behavior problem. Keep in mind the former scout and the family are known from past issues to our chartered org, hence the reason I believe they filed the complaint with BSA and refused to file via the chartered org when offered.

 

So in comes local as directed by national:

1. Collects written statements from many, many adults that witnessed the multiple events of the week

2. interviews innocent scouts, putting them through the ringer. This went on for months.

3. DOES NOT INTERVIEW the prime victim. (sloppy).

 

Result of this: Verbal only from council saying

1. Person filling report is not the victim, but the aggressor (as per the original report).

2. Calling real prime victim, second victim from another troop and the troop itself victims (as per the original report).

 

Remaining issues that make me question the motivation of national and local.

A. Our repeated requests to have council issue a letter stating that an incident was investigated and found to be unsubstantiated have been unanswered.

B. Scouts still being bullied by this aggressor in the school setting using their involvement in scouts as a social weapon. Boys with documented issues in a difficult school. The aggressor is very adapt at claiming victim status.

 

My gut instinct is that national/local did only enough to cover themselves legally, but has left the scouts and troop hanging.

.

Just another reason to not trust our scouting leadership.

Anyone else had similiar issues?

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I have no knowledge of the official protocol for a situation like this. HOWEVER, I wouldn't expect the council to issue such a letter. How would that possibly be in their interest? Secondly, that the bully has moved on to greener pastures really isn't the council's problem. Now I get all the arguments for why they shouldn't "kick the can down the road" or "burying our heads in the sand", but if the council WANTED to do something about the situation, what standing would they have to get involved in a school issue?. If the council executive called the school, do you think school personnel would even talk to them or would they claim confidentiality? I think maybe your expectations are greater than they should be.

 

But I have a question: what did they tell you which would cause you to put up with months of investigations, spend the time to write reports or make your sons available for such? I'd be willing to sit down over a cup of coffee with them, but I'm not sure I would tolerate the Barney Fife routine very long.

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I can see Twocub's point but at this time, it's done. They may have stumbled around like Barney Fife but in the end they agreed with you. I'm not sure there's anything else to pursue within the BSA arena, although there seems to be plenty to address at school.

We had a situation that was a little like this which resolved itself. The boy started as a cub and he was a chip off the old block, if you get my drift. Worse, the 'block' was rich and prominent in the community so we had to put up with a lot more because so many people were afraid to speak the obvious. So eventually, the kid decided that scouting was too lame and he left while still a cub....big sigh of relief. But then it continued at school. I had to explain to my son that if he would just wait quietly, sooner or later this problem would be taken care of. Sure enough, not too long later, the doors of the bus opened one day and an angry person walked onto the bus and beat hell out of the bully...and I mean really beat him to a pulp. That was the last bullying anyone ever heard out of that guy. I don't advocate violence but these days, something like that is almost certainly in his future - the longer it takes to arrive in his life, the worse the learning experience will be. I also knew another kid who was more of a loud-mouth than a bully. His lesson happened at age 21. The humbling experience cost him an eye and almost his life. These days, he too is a lot quieter.

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Pack makes a good point I had intended to include -- while the constraints of an organization may preclude them from getting involved beyond their own parochial interests, nothing precludes an individual from dropping a dime on the kid.

 

He is also spot on with the real, time-tested cure for bullying. No career as a bully ever survives it's first good butt whoopin'. I saw it happen over and over growing up. Remember the Scott Farcas Affair from the movie Christmas Story? That's exactly how it works. Or more currently the "Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdog" analogy in American Sniper. Unfortunately, schools have absolutely created the current bullying environment by protecting the wolves from the sheepdogs. Back in the day, a good vice principal knew how to get distracted just long enough for a lesson to be made without anyone getting really hurt.

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Yep, CE, your problem isn't the organization. It's a very clever bully. Organizations will likely miss some detail. Bullies, aided by their parents, will take advantage of those "chinks in the armor."

 

Remind your boys that they are the free ones. Meanwhile, he is in a prison of his own making. Like the other fellows said, a serious thrashing may be the only way to break him out of it. Your boys aren't the ones to deliver it. He most certainly will find someone to do him the favor.

 

The other option may be supernatural kindness .. or remarkable courage in the face of adversity. Your boys may soon be in the position to deliver either. Neither will give them justice anytime soon. But it will enable them to hold their heads high through some formative years.

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I will likely drop a dime. Some of the school admin knows myself, the aggressor and the victims. I will remind them of other past issues with the aggressor and parents. The aggressor is a classic small boy with big mouth, however this situation one had physical components as well. One of the out of scout events involved a school sponsored event and an autistic youth. The scouts are all privately hoping some of the other boys from a rougher school do the work for them.

 

It will not do much, except to make the school aware and keep an eye out for some of the youth I can help. This one I have written off.

 

If you ever go through something like this make sure you keep records like we did. Also keep all your training up to date. I think this was our saving grace, everything record wise was in good order.

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All,

 

Our troop went through a bad experience, made far worse by the unprofessional work of our council and national. I am curious to see if anyone else has had similar experiences.

 

Long story made short: sneaky now former scout was the prime aggressor in a bullying incident. That now former scout made very exaggerated counter claims to cover himself. Parents of said scout wrote letter to council which was forwarded onto national triggering an incident investigation.

 

Before you all jump to conclusions: All BSA and our charter org rules were followed. We had all ready forwarded a low level behavior report to district and council and had informed our charted org immediately. Parents were notified, items documented at the time including the absurd response from the aggressor's parents when notified of the behavior problem. Keep in mind the former scout and the family are known from past issues to our chartered org, hence the reason I believe they filed the complaint with BSA and refused to file via the chartered org when offered.

 

So in comes local as directed by national:

1. Collects written statements from many, many adults that witnessed the multiple events of the week

2. interviews innocent scouts, putting them through the ringer. This went on for months.

3. DOES NOT INTERVIEW the prime victim. (sloppy).

 

Result of this: Verbal only from council saying

1. Person filling report is not the victim, but the aggressor (as per the original report).

2. Calling real prime victim, second victim from another troop and the troop itself victims (as per the original report).

 

Remaining issues that make me question the motivation of national and local.

A. Our repeated requests to have council issue a letter stating that an incident was investigated and found to be unsubstantiated have been unanswered.

B. Scouts still being bullied by this aggressor in the school setting using their involvement in scouts as a social weapon. Boys with documented issues in a difficult school. The aggressor is very adapt at claiming victim status.

 

My gut instinct is that national/local did only enough to cover themselves legally, but has left the scouts and troop hanging.

.

Just another reason to not trust our scouting leadership.

Anyone else had similiar issues?

A. What else can the council do? How will that letter help? The aggressor is no longer a Scout, it seems like the problem in terms of Scouts is over.

B. That is a school issue. Parents of the bullied boys need to deal with this in the school. It's not a scout thing anymore.

 

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perdidochas is right. What else could the council do? They do not have authority in your school or with your police force or within your neighborhoods. Their zone of influence is the scouting community. The scout is gone. That is about as much as can be done.

 

They fact that they did so many interviews means they took the situation very seriously and spent lots of $$$ on it. And it was to protect everyone involved.

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