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Interesting topic came up....

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1,  Failing to use a dutch oven to cook at least once on a campout.

2.  Asking "are we there yet?" on a hike.

3.  Washing cast iron with soap.

4.  Wearing anything cotton.

5.  Leaving their hiking boots to close to where others are sleeping and having a scout pass out due to asphyxiation.

6.  Visiting the adult campsite when it isn't an emergency.

7.  Taking more than one match to light a campfire

8.  Forgetting to flush the latrine or leaving the seat up.

9.  Eating off a paper towel because they forgot their mess kit.

10.  Using squirt guns instead of hydrostatic propulsion devices on a canoing trip.

:laugh:

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1,  Failing to use a dutch oven to cook at least once on a campout.

2.  Asking "are we there yet?" on a hike.

3.  Washing cast iron with soap.

4.  Wearing anything cotton.

5.  Leaving their hiking boots to close to where others are sleeping and having a scout pass out due to asphyxiation.

6.  Visiting the adult campsite when it isn't an emergency.

7.  Taking more than one match to light a campfire

8.  Forgetting to flush the latrine or leaving the seat up.

9.  Eating off a paper towel because they forgot their mess kit.

10.  Using squirt guns instead of hydrostatic propulsion devices on a canoing trip.

 

You forgot "Will you sign off on this?" after you just said you would at the next meeting.

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Some of you guys are much more knowledgeable about scouting history than am I.  Do you know what the threshold was in olden days?

 

I'd heard stories from my father's generation suggesting that the threshold was much lower back then.  Simply telling a lie could get you the boot. 

 

I don't know if these stories were true or not.

 

Like today, there isn't much of a National/Council policy threshold (and back in the day the National/Council threshold was likely even lower - there were a lot more Scouting units in delinquency centers that there are today) - it's more of a local unit threshold.  I'm sure there were units out there where they had a lie and you're out rule - but I believe they would be in the minority - Units that wanted to make a point about how bad lying is would hold up Scout's advancement - not usually kick them out.

 

I think what's sticking in folk's craw here is the application of school-based zero-tolerance policies to non-school activities, with an additional sub-set of trying to grasp the notion that Scouting can be a school-based activity.

 

Hang around long enough and you can get a sense of where folks fall on the political scale - look around enough and I think you'll find that zero tolerance policies in general and as a whole are equally disliked by most Scouters, no matter where on the political scale one falls.  Somewhere floating about is a thread on a Scout who was suspended from school for having an axe in the trunk of his car after a weekend of camping out with the Troop because the school district had a zero tolerance policy (the lazy way out) instead of taking each incident on a case-by-case basis. Pretty much everyone sided with the Scout and thought the School District needed new leadership.  We know school districts love zero tolerance policies but they seem to be pretty much universally disliked by everyone not in the educational field. 

 

The thing is that even zero-tolerance policies (or as I call them - zero-brain usage policies) have limits.  Sure, there are places where a student on a sports team caught drinking, even with family present and parental permission (in those states that allow it) can be kicked off the team - sports are an extracurricular activity and it's considered a privilege to play.  But you can't kick them out of school (at least a public school).  You can't even give them detentions. 

 

Even if a unit has a "zero-tolerance" policy on some things, it should be tempered with reasonableness.  If on a Scouting trip a group of boys ask if they can free-climb a certain set of bluffs and does it anyway if the SM says no - that's blatant disobedience - but the key point here is that it occurs on a Scouting activity and the Scoutmaster actually has some control.  In the case of camping on their own with their parent's permission, the Scoutmaster's/Troop's permission is not needed if it is not a Scouting activity.  If a Patrol asks if they can count the trip as a Scouting outing and he say's no, that's the end of the matter as far as the Troop goes.  Since it can't be counted as a Scouting activity, it is not a Scouting activity and the Troop has no jurisdiction over it.  As long as they don't try to sneak it in as a countable camp experience later, there is no disobedience to the Scoutmaster - they've asked if they can go camping as a patrol - they Scoutmaster said no - so they didn't camp as a patrol, they camped as a group of friends with parent permission.

 

Even zero tolerance policies need to meet a reasonableness standard.  Courts don't like overreach - Alcohol use is illegal and not conducive to sports?  Fine.  Setting a policy that athletes can't go to Disney World with their family?  Pull out the checkbook.

Edited by CalicoPenn
  • Upvote 2

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If the question is, what would get someone expelled from a troop all by itself - in other words, "one strike and you're out", as opposed to the culmination of a series of bad acts, warnings, progressive discipline, etc. - in our troop it would probably have to be an act of serious violence (more than just a punch, a shove, etc.) or deliberate destruction of someone else's property. And, obviously, criminal acts more serious than those. Anything less than that, at most the person is going to get a suspension, and if appropriate there will be conditions for their return from the suspension. I do not think anyone has actually been expelled in the 12+ years I have been involved. One was suspended for threats made to another Scout and his mother was asked to speak with the SM to discuss what would happen next; instead she pulled him out of the troop because he was being "wrongfully accused." (He wasn't.) There were also three kids who got into some horseplay at a Klondike Derby with a member of another troop, which ended in the other Scout's patrol's sled ending up in a ditch and being damaged. Several conditions were placed on their coming back, including going to a meeting of the other troop and apologizing. Two of them did what they were asked to do, and one of those later became SPL; the third couldn't be bothered and never came back. Then, way back, there was one kid who stabbed another Scout with a plastic fork - and broke the skin. I think his parents immediately removed him from the troop, so there was never a question of what happens next.

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Then, way back, there was one kid who stabbed another Scout with a plastic fork - and broke the skin. I think his parents immediately removed him from the troop, so there was never a question of what happens next.

 

That's a pretty powerful stab..  :blink:

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I don't agree that zero tolerance policies are universally disliked by everyone not in the education field.  My observation is that there is great public support for these zero tolerance policies, mostly from parents.

 

These policies wouldn't exist if they didn't have support from parents.

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I don't agree that zero tolerance policies are universally disliked by everyone not in the education field.  My observation is that there is great public support for these zero tolerance policies, mostly from parents.

 

These policies wouldn't exist if they didn't have support from parents.

 

Tell that to the Texas school district parents where the ISD have a zero tolerance policy about drugs. A 5th grader with severe asthma went to school mistakenly with his rescue inhaler in his back pack. He used his backpack over the weekend when his family went camping and forgot to take his inhaler out when he go home. Went to school and was expelled for having an "illegal drug" on him.

 

Parents have tried to change the policy to no avail. Zero tolerance should come with the exercising of common sense, but usually do.

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I'm with Calico on this one.  I grew up in a culture that was tolerant of blacks, tolerant of women, tolerant of unruly children, tolerant of a lot of things.  People just worked around these situations, negotiated resolutions, and basically compromised and or at least listened out the other side of the story.  It was an age of reasoning and people, even if they didn't agree at least went along with certain issues for the welfare of the common peace.

 

Zerio tolerance policies are nothing more than an up-front statement that the party making the rules will not discuss, dialog, debate, try to understand, or even empathize with the situation.  It simply announces an arrogance and entrenchment that doesn't care what others may think about the situation.  We all cringe when we hear about SM's who dictate my way or the highway to the boys and waaaay out of line with the Scout Laws of common decency yet allow zero tolerant people a pass on it.  Sorry, but zero tolerance is bullying and basically I simply avoid any and all contact with such people unless I have leverage in the situation. 

 

Teacher: we need you to step up your discipline of your child's unruly behavior in class.

 

Parent: we need you to step up your teaching skills so that my child isn't bored to tears in class.

 

Teacher: Your son is being suspended from my class.

 

Parent: Great, maybe now he can get a teacher that we can work with instead of having to deal with school mandates and stupid classroom rules.

 

Where as there are always two sides to every issue, zero tolerance mandates there is only one.

 

I am glad my children learned from such policies because I think my grandchildren being home-schooled with mega tolerance for others in society is a really good thing.  It is definitely what is taught in the Scout Oath and Laws.  I would have a difficult time trying to justify zero tolerance under the principles of the Law and Oath.

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We know school districts love zero tolerance policies but they seem to be pretty much universally disliked by everyone not in the educational field.

I don't agree that zero tolerance policies are universally disliked by everyone not in the education field.  My observation is that there is great public support for these zero tolerance policies, mostly from parents.

 

These policies wouldn't exist if they didn't have support from parents.

I know several teachers and they all hate zero tolerance policies. @@David CO is right, many parents push for them (they think they will only apply to "those kids", not their own). And it's an easy way for school board members to appear tough and that they are "doing something" ("This zero tolerance policy will send a message to everyone that we are serious about this issue!"). Plus a lot of parents don't think the policies through. They hear "we have a zero tolerance policy on students bringing weapons to school", and they think "sounds great to me!" It never occurs to them that the policy also applies to the pen knife in the glove compartment of the car their son drives to school.

 

It's like the BSA and "sheath knives". I think when most parents hear the words "sheath knife" they picture some sort of big "Rambo knife". It doesn't occur to them that it can also refer to any other fixed blade knife like kitchen knives and small fixed utility knives. As one parent said to me when shown a large kitchen knife: "but that's not a sheath knife, it's a kitchen knife!"

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I know several teachers and they all hate zero tolerance policies. @@David CO is right, many parents push for them (they think they will only apply to "those kids", not their own). And it's an easy way for school board members to appear tough and that they are "doing something" ("This zero tolerance policy will send a message to everyone that we are serious about this issue!"). Plus a lot of parents don't think the policies through. They hear "we have a zero tolerance policy on students bringing weapons to school", and they think "sounds great to me!" It never occurs to them that the policy also applies to the pen knife in the glove compartment of the car their son drives to school.

 

 

It would be nice if it was the ill-informed parents that drafted up the zero tolerance policies, implemented them and managed them but that's not the case. They are drafted by lawyers and managed by administrators. Sometimes they have hearings before that happens and sometimes they don't. I cannot recall many cases in recent years where administrators went on record to oppose said policies. Why don't the teacher's unions shout from the roof tops how bad zero tolerance policies are if they support their members' stance?

 

While parents -- and I would argue that the number that support zero tolerance is not as large as implied -- may support some zero tolerance policies, it is the lawyers and the school boards who draw up and implement the policies. There ARE ways to make such policies address the intent of what the parents want without punishing the innocent like the Eagle scout who was suspended. The lawyers and administrators can draw up policies that have common sense review as part of a zero tolerance policy.

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Ya, but, doesn't zero-tolerance mean they have no intention of dealing with the issue?  What would be the reason for doing a review of any situation if whatever it was in their minds, i.e. piece of bread that looks like a gun, is not tolerated.  These "rules" are not rules to which judgements of a case by case basis are reviewed, they are non-negotiable mandates that cannot be questioned.

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Ya, but, doesn't zero-tolerance mean they have no intention of dealing with the issue?  What would be the reason for doing a review of any situation if whatever it was in their minds, i.e. piece of bread that looks like a gun, is not tolerated.  These "rules" are not rules to which judgements of a case by case basis are reviewed, they are non-negotiable mandates that cannot be questioned.

 

Zero tolerance means that, for example, they don't want drugs being dealt and used at a school. It does not mean they expel a third grader that forgot he had a Tums in his pocket, left over from the weekend because he had an upset stomach, just because he happened to be wearing the same pants.

Edited by Krampus

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Are you sure about that?

 

I've read where kindergarten kids were expelled for forming their hand into the shape of a gun and were using it to play games during recess.  Heck, when I was that age, I walked around wearing a gun and holster all the time, it went well with the boots and cowboy hat.  All our money as kids went to buying caps for the cap guns.

 

We have Eagle Scouts expelled from school for a small pocket knife locked in their cars..... When I was in high school I was a member of the Rifle Club.  We used the school's rifles, but during hunting season we could bring in our own guns and sight them in to get them ready. 

 

We live in a world/society where the once cherished freedoms are now gone.  Heroic resolve backed by common sense have now been replaced with blatant mandates backed by cowering fear.

 

We had a first grader who's mom packed a table knife so his teacher could cut his birthday cake treat for the class.  He was suspended because his mom was an idiot.  Then they went to cupcakes, but now that's taboo as well, who knows that idiot mom didn't bake Magic Cupcakes for the kindergarten class. 

 

Everyone gets a participation trophy for fear someone might feel left out.

 

Graded papers cannot be handed out by other students for fear they will know what others got for grades.

 

A pocket knife is banished for fear someone would use it as a weapon in class.

 

Ever notice the common denominator in all this?  Zero-tolerance policies are generated out of the fears of society who think that this will insure some sense of safety for everyone.  The philosophy is also seen in disarming everyone so the criminals who will always be armed won't have to be afraid of anyone fighting back against their crimes.

 

Someday, these fearful people will wake up and realize that zero-tolerance policies will not stop people who ignore rules in the first place, that's what makes them criminals.  Zero-tolerance cannot protect against that, but it can give everyone a huge dosage of false security so they can feel they have done something useful for society's safety.

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I was an elected public school board member for 1 term.  Hated it.  I'll never do that again.

 

However, I did come away with some knowledge of how school boards work.  All students have the right to ask for a school board hearing to challenge a suspension.  Expulsion get an automatic review.

 

This is a common sense review.  The school board is free to act as they see right.

 

During my term, I sat on 40 expulsion hearings.  Most expulsions were obvious, clear-cut violations.  A handful had their punishments reduced.  Two were exonerated completely.

 

I considered the review authority of the school board to be one of its most important duties.  Yet, while I was running for office, not a single constituent asked me a question about it.

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In the example Stosh gives, the parent truly is an idiot, for more reasons that one.

 

The teacher's lounge is well stocked with knives, spatulas, and every assorted piece of kitchenware that a teacher might need for a classroom celebration.

 

They're kept in a locked drawer.

Edited by David CO

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