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TheFlyingMum

Austistic Scout being bullied

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     I have witnessed first hand an autistic Scout in our troop being bullied.  The Adult leaders are complicit.  The Committee Chair kicked out the scout and his parent.  This Scout is extremely bright & high functioning.  He is not a danger to himself or other scouts.  This Scouts parents are active in the troop & always offering help with everything.  This doesn’t seem like it should be ok.  A few weeks later, the same Committee Chair was bullying another scout for Bell’s Palsy and social anxiety, again other adult leaders have been complicit.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated. 

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Posted (edited)

Bullying is not tolerated.

https://www.scouting.org/training/youth-protection/bullying/

Insure scouts are safe (remove from contact with those adults), gather your affected families, documented the instances and concerns and then contact

   1. head of your troop's Charter Organization

    2. Scout Executive directly at your Council

           https://www.scouting.org/discover/local-council-locator/

   3.  call Scouts First  24hr Helpline 844-726-8871

Stay tuned,  more advice coming from other members....

Edited by RememberSchiff
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Posted (edited)

I have first hand witnessed the treatment of autistic scouts/special needs scouts through the day camp I worked at last year and also through clinical trips I have done. Some are just not educated on how to help them or their “triggers”. The committee chair may be a fantastic person, but is awkward when it comes to special needs children. Have you tried talking to the committee and educating them? If it keeps getting worse or continues, use the 24hour hotline @RememberSchiff provided above.

I would contact the COR for help, as they are above the committee chair.

Edited by ItsBrian

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Posted (edited)

@TheFlyingMum

The head of your Troop is the Charter Organization will be someone called the COR, or Chartered Organization Representative.   The head of your troop's Chartered Organization will be someone like the PTO president, or head of the Rotary, or head of the church, depending on what your chartered organization is.   

You also must contact your Council's Scout Executive asap, and if needed, the national hotline as RememberSchiff detailed above.  The info. he linked to is great and I hope it is helpful.

Best wishes and thank you for helping Scouting. 

 

Edited by WisconsinMomma

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4 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

Bullying is not tolerated.

I agree that actual bullying should not be tolerated. My problem with the BSA policy is that it includes behaviors that I would not consider to be bullying. BSA has expanded the definition of bullying to the point that any scout could claim to be the "target" of bullying and any scout could be accused of being a bully. The bullying issue is getting to be a lot like gender identification. If a scout self-identifies as a "target" of bullying, then BSA will accept that he is a "target" of bullying. 

I have no advice for TheFlyingMum. 

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The issue is one of Troop culture.  Culture begins with the leaders.  The older Scouts take their cues from the leaders.  The younger Scouts take their cue from the older Scouts.

Our Troop has a Scout with on the Autism spectrum, a Scout who is Downs Syndrome and a Scout who is in a wheelchair due to spinal cord issues that affect his ability to walk and use one of his arms.  The Scout on the Autism spectrum does need more adult interaction than the others.  The older Scouts (who are his same age) have been taught how to support him by treating him as an equal.  The Scout with Downs Syndrome became best buddies with our ASPL last year at camp and one of the younger Scouts was his "buddy" all week.  Honestly, he is a rock star when he comes to meetings.  The Scout in a wheelchair just joined our Troop and has been befriended by the other ASPL (who is my son).  He quote is "it is so cool he is into Scouting, I want to make sure he succeeds."  Our Troop's culture is that every kid who joins a a Webelos is treated as a little brother.  This has been the way since 10 years ago, a bunch of youth decided to make the patrols mixed age when they become the senior leaders, because they were remembered what it was like to be excluded by the "cool" guys when they joined.  

One of the things we do is cover "bullying" in our leadership training.  We explain that what one person thinks is funny and a joke, may not be a joke to the person it is aimed at.  The question isn't whether you thought it was funny, but whether the other person also thought it was funny.  We define "friendly" to be  from the perspective of the other person.  Don't get me wrong, there still is a lot of razzing on folks, but everyone involved knows it is in good fun.  

I have a saying that everyone needs Scouting for a reason.  Some to enjoy high adventure, some to learn leadership, some to learn self-responsibility, some to have a place that they feel like they are among friends, some to have a place to goof off, some to find self-confidence, etc.  If the adult leadership approaches it from that perspective, the rest comes easy.

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7 hours ago, TheFlyingMum said:

     I have witnessed first hand an autistic Scout in our troop being bullied.  The Adult leaders are complicit.  The Committee Chair kicked out the scout and his parent.  This Scout is extremely bright & high functioning.  He is not a danger to himself or other scouts.  This Scouts parents are active in the troop & always offering help with everything.  This doesn’t seem like it should be ok.  A few weeks later, the same Committee Chair was bullying another scout for Bell’s Palsy and social anxiety, again other adult leaders have been complicit.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated. 

@TheFlyingMum, welcome.

The CC kicked the autistic kid out of the troop? Why? What was the CC doing to the scout with Bell's Palsy? And who did what to the autistic scout? This just sounds over the top.

I've had scouts on the autism spectrum in my troop and the other scouts were really good with them. So I know it can be done right.

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