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Millie

Parent Issue - Cub Scouts

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6 minutes ago, NJCubScouter said:

Yes, that was kind of the show-stopper for me too.  I think that Millie inadvertently did what journalists call "burying the lede."  (And yes, that is how lede is spelled; I may be a lawyer now, but this is not my first career.)  :)

You are a lawyer AND a journalist? If you run for public office you will have the trifecta of "people with the lowest credibility". ;) (Well meant jab/joke)

My unit insists that ALL adults (leaders or not) pass a criminal background check. We put that in the bylaws years ago and the CO backed us on it. If people know that's a mandatory thing they either 1) don't join our unit, or 2) don't ever hand around events. We found that was the best way to avoid such issues. A local unit didn't do this and lived to regret it.

Edited by Col. Flagg
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1 minute ago, Col. Flagg said:

You are a lawyer AND a journalist? If you run for public office you will have the trifecta of "people with the lowest credibility". ;)

Too late.  I ran and was elected to my local school board, but only served one term.  :)

But let's get back to helping Millie.

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20 minutes ago, NJCubScouter said:

Yes, that was kind of the show-stopper for me too.  I think that Millie inadvertently did what journalists call "burying the lede."  (And yes, that is how lede is spelled; I may be a lawyer now, but this is not my first career.)  :)

Of course, Problem Mom's sordid personal past could range anywhere from something like shoplifting or passing bad checks (in which case the fact that she falsely tells people she is pack TREASURER raises a whole fleet of red flags) on up to something violent.  We just don't know.

NJ, Guilty as charged!  ;) However, at the time that I made my original post, her "law related" reason for declining to register as a leader (somehow) seemed less significant.  I am not sure why... especially in light of your "passing bad checks" comment relating to her Treasurer claims... Goodness.  Well, I continue to sit her patiently - still waiting for that promised call from Council.  They did have quite the bundle of correspondence to read.  It's time to cut the cord with Problem Mom and move on to the more important task of providing a quality program for our Scouts. 

Edited by Millie
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13 minutes ago, Col. Flagg said:

You are a lawyer AND a journalist? If you run for public office you will have the trifecta of "people with the lowest credibility". ;) (Well meant jab/joke)

My unit insists that ALL adults (leaders or not) pass a criminal background check. We put that in the bylaws years ago and the CO backed us on it. If people know that's a mandatory thing they either 1) don't join our unit, or 2) don't ever hand around events. We found that was the best way to avoid such issues. A local unit didn't do this and lived to regret it.

Now that wasn't nice or even correct.  1) Lawyer, 2) Journalist and 3) ?  Ya, need 3 for a trifecta.  So, I must ask the question to @NJCubScouterdid you ever sell used cars?  :)

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7 minutes ago, Millie said:

NJ, Guilty as charged!  ;) However, at the time that I made my original post, her "law related" reason for declining to register as a leader (somehow) seemed less significant.  I am not sure why... especially in light of your "passing bad checks" comment relating to her Treasurer claims... Goodness.  Well, I continue to sit her patiently - still waiting for that promised call from Council.  They did have quite the bundle of correspondence to read.  It's time to cut the cord with Problem Mom and move on to the more important task of providing a quality program for our Scouts. 

Are her Cub's advancement records all in order and ready for transfer?

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1 minute ago, RememberSchiff said:

Are her Cub's advancement records all in order and ready for transfer?

Yes, everything is in Scoutbook and Advancement Sync was activated just a few days ago for BSA.  Complete Cub Record Bobcat forward.

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We had this situation a couple times in both cubs and troops. We contacted our district Commissioner and DE to show them the problem and why were asking parents to stay away from the scouts. But you don't have to do that. If the COR has a problem with the parent, they have every right to ask them to leave without Council permission. 

In our case, the adults were leaders, so we could asked to have their membership taken away. But instead we simply restricted them from being near the boys and unit activities. That way you aren't asking their sons to leave, just the parent. In one case, mom and son left to join another troop. And another, and even one more before Council took her membership away. 

As for what Council will do, they like to stay out of unit business when they can because they have plenty of other situations to deal with. They in general will support what you ever propose unless it is against BSA policies. 

Barry

Edited by Eagledad
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14 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

We had this situation a couple times in both cubs and troops. We contacted our district Commissioner and DE to show them the problem and why were asking parents to stay away from the scouts. But you don't have to do that. If the COR has a problem with the parent, they have every right to ask them to leave without Council permission. 

In our case, the adults were leaders, so we could asked to have their membership taken away. But instead we simply restricted them from being near the boys and unit activities. That way you aren't asking their sons to leave, just the parent. In one case, mom and son left to join another troop. And another, and even one more before Council took her membership away. 

As for what Council will do, they like to stay out of unit business when they can because they have plenty of other situations to deal with. They in general will support what you ever propose unless it is against BSA policies. 

Barry

Tip of the hat, I have found that very hard to accomplish.

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I guess I'm going to be the odd man out on this, since I have a bit of a different take.

It does sound as though this mother has been a real pain for a long time and some steps have been taken to encourage her to amend her difficult ways. The Pack could reasonably make the case that this mother made her own bed and now she has to lie in it; i.e. that she should be kicked out and banned from all Pack functions.

Barring any kind of issues of youth protection or safety, the act of removing a parent or a leader is an extreme one and should only be taken as an absolute last resort after all other methods or efforts to correct the problem at hand have been exhausted. 

Regarding the difficult mother, I would give her one final opportunity to allow her to correct her ways before removing her. At least that way, the Pack can assuredly say that it gave the mother every possible opportunity to amend her conduct before going to the extreme step of banning her altogether.

Send her a letter outlining the problems her behavior has caused and outline in no uncertain terms that any additional outbursts, poor behavior or false claims will result in her being banned. You could also add that perhaps the next six months will probationary for her. 

When faced with the consequence of being banned from the Pack, hopefully, she will do what's in the best interest of her son;. i.e. she'll stop causing trouble. Alternatively, perhaps she will decide to take him out of the Pack herself, but even if that's the case, then the Pack still took the high road in allowing her this final opportunity to correct her mistakes.

You yourself say that the scout in question is a good kid. Even if you're not willing to give the mother one last chance, do allow that opportunity for the scout. 

In the event that the mother is removed though, it should be made clear that the scout is welcome to continue with the Pack. He's done nothing wrong and should not be penalized. It's not for the Pack to determine how far is too far for the family to drive to get him to and from meetings. That would be their decision to make, if it comes to it; not the Pack's decision.

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I always feel bad for the kids.  Sounds like the decision to remove the family is already made, but if you want to or can offer to have the boy continue if the mother agrees to limit her participation, then you may have a win.  I wonder if the mom has some mental health concerns, but that is not anything that you can do anything about.  If you cannot manage the mom situation then it sounds like you are set on the path to removal.  If you can work with the mom to have her just focus on her son and getting him to and from the meetings, and attending his den meetings, then that would be a nice result.  If you need something nice to say to mom, give her encouragement that her son is doing well and is liked in Scouts and that you hate to see him have to leave.   But you need to also have some boundaries. 

As far as complaining, I once was dealing with a heckler in a job I was in.  Someone told me that some people are just like that, that's what they do.  The issue regarding communicating about the money is a concern that needs to be addressed.

Best wishes with it.   Good luck!

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On 12/4/2017 at 6:42 AM, Millie said:

Good Morning,I'

I'm a new member here, coming for advice on the recommendation of another Scouter.   

I've been in Scouting for a few years, but this year is my first year as Pack Committee Chair.  

In our Pack, we are blessed with many great families.  We do, however, have one Parent that has been in our Pack for three years and during that time, she has increasingly become argumentative, divisive,  and generally causes upheaval on a regular basis.

We hold regular Parent meetings to discuss plans, receive feedback and basically have an open forum so that everyone has an opportunity to ask questions.  These meetings are well received and have contributed to an overall smoothly operating Pack.  Except for Problem Mom.  

She seems to be very dissatisfied with our Pack.  She doesn't agree with the Bylaws, Code of Conduct, the operating budget/fundraising, our meeting location/date/time or the Chartered Org.  Yet she comes back, year after year, driving to our Pack from a neighboring city where there exists two Packs much closer to her home.  If she offers a suggestion during our Parent meetings and the suggestion is not met with overwhelming approval (from Parents and Committee), she becomes very defensive and angry.

I would offer that we have approximately 50 families in our Pack and she is the only Parent that finds fault in our program.

In the past week, she seems to have taken a step closer to falling off the proverbial cliff.  She is has been contacting Leaders and Parents in our Pack and other Packs, spreading all sorts of nonsense and lies.   In many of these emails, texts, etc, she has represented herself as the Treasurer in our Pack, giving the impression that she is conducting business on our behalf.  She has stated that our Pack is offering to disburse "left over" funds in our "individual scout accounts" to Parents who have either crossed over to a Troop or transferred to another Pack.  We absolutely do not have individual Scout accounts.   It is causing a lot of frustration and confusion.  

We held our Committee meeting yesterday after Church and the Committee presented a suggestion to remove her (and unfortunately her Scout) from our Pack.  The vote was unanimous.  The COR and EO are also in agreement as she has not spared them in her email tirades.  The COR recently advised Mom that if she was not happy with our Unit, she should visit one of the other Units in the area to see if they were a better fit for her.  She is not interested in transferring.  It has really just worn thin with the Committee and many other parents as well.  We are all ready to move on past this and removing her seems to be the final option.

This is a situation unique to me.  Who is responsible for notifying the Mom?  Would it be via a certified letter? A phone call?  She's going to go all manner of "nuts" on us.  Any advise on how to word this or what to say?

Thank you in advance.

Millie

I would say the first thing is to try to remember the Scout Law when dealing with her.  I would guess that the best way to do it is when she drops off/picks up the boy.  Have the COR, CC and CM do it.  It's not worth risking losing other cubs over one disgruntled parent.  

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Document, document, document.    If you wish, you might contact the Packs in the "other town" you mention.  Have they had issues with her?  Why did she pick your Pack?

Such history may help you understand her issues, but cannot define your response.  When you give (inperson, if possible, in sight of witnesses) her letter of expulsion,  LIST everything you have observed/heard/read that was false or defamatory or destructive to your Pack and Cubs.  Define clearly what this means. No attendance at any Pack/Den event. The Cub at continue in the Pack or transfer to another unit, no problem, but the PM must NOT be involved in anything of your Pack.  Refer to the COuncil and the possibility that her Scouting participation may be totally banned if her behavior continues.  Not a registered Scouter? Not the Pack's accepted/elected Treasurer?  That should be enough  for expulsion.

Your COR and IH have the lead and must have YOUR back (being CCh).   Problem Mom has problems , for sure, and it is sad when the child must grow up trying to deal with them. He will (we hope) grow up sufficiently to remember and be able to sort out her dynamics and how it colored his maturity.  

Am I missing something or has the Cub's father not been mentioned?  Where is he in this mire? 

Stand your collective ground and smile as you hand her the letter.

 

See you on the trail.

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Thank you all.   She has not returned to a meeting since that incident.  I do not expect that she will.  At the end of January, her Scout's membership will expire when we recharter.   She has made no effort to pay renewal fees for her Scout.  The deadline for paying renewal fees is January 4.

SSScout, the father has not been a part of the Scout's life for several years.  The mother and father are divorced and seriously estranged.

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