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Hello.  So here is the scenario.  I was at a popcorn sale this past weekend. At the popcorn sale a parent came up to me and started screaming about how my son should stay away from his son. I asked him to calm down.  But it only escalated on their part and the screaming continued. I continued to ask him to calm down. In the end the SPL asked to calm down.  The parent calmed down.  I informed leadership and I was told to step down as asst scoutmaster and I cannot be near the building when the program is in process. I asked the Committe chair how could this be?   He told me they spoke to everyone and they felt we were both screaming.  In the end the committee chair said the scoutmaster does not want to work with me.  Question is this fair or is their a place I can appeal?

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Welcome to the forum, @TazDevil22.

I'm really sorry this happened to you, but we'll try to help.

27 minutes ago, TazDevil22 said:

In the end the SPL asked to calm down.

There's a missing word here that could change the meaning a lot. Who did the SPL ask to calm down?

29 minutes ago, TazDevil22 said:

 I informed leadership and I was told to step down as asst scoutmaster and I cannot be near the building when the program is in process. I asked the Committe chair how could this be?   He told me they spoke to everyone and they felt we were both screaming.

I just think there has to be more going on than this. If I saw an ASM shouting at someone and this were the first time it happened I wouldn't ask someone to step down. Are there other reasons why people might want you as an ASM anymore? If you don't know, go ask the SM.

34 minutes ago, TazDevil22 said:

 Question is this fair or is their a place I can appeal?

There are lots of ways to appeal what happens to a scout but in all honesty what happens to an ASM is really up to the committee and SM. The Chartered Organization really has final say in any situation but usually they just follow the committee.

I don't think appeal is the right approach. Fixing what's broken is probably going to work better.

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Thank you very much.  I truly feel the SPL told us both to calm down.  I did ask the other parent to calm down twice.  

I agree with the fact there is more.  I spoke with the Committee Chair.  He ultimately told me last night.  We can appeal but be advised the SM has stated in not so many words, he does not want to work with you being me. So the best way to ask the question is, if the scoutmaster doesn’t want you working with the troop, is this allowed.  How can this scoutmaster be objective about other issues when he cannot be objective about other people in the troop?  

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I'm sorry - a situation like this is certainly ego-bruising. Hopefully, it can be viewed as a learning experience too.

Regarding the screaming episode with the other parent, we can all lose our cool (particularly when defensive instincts about our own children kick in). Sometimes loud shouting becomes more than just an expression of frustration and disagreement - sometimes it can create real fear and intimidation. I'd guessing the committee is reacting to the latter.

I'm embarrassed whenever I lose control of my temper. I instantly regret it and quickly find a way to apologize. Even if I consider myself mostly blameless, fence-mending gestures help me feel better about my involvement in the matter. In my personal interactions, I tend to be a pleaser and a peacemaker - that's just how I roll (curious how that doesn't always translate to my online interactions, however - haha).

I don't see how an appeal can force a SM to work with an ASM. Perhaps it is just bad chemistry between you two, or perhaps there are more concrete issues behind it. Either way, I don't think it changes the outcome - you must step aside. I'd send a note to the CC and the SM expressing appreciation for your experiences working with the troop and be gracious as you exit. You don't want a poisoned environment if your son intends to remain in the troop (assuming that's the plan).

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1 hour ago, TazDevil22 said:

Thank you very much.  I truly feel the SPL told us both to calm down.  I did ask the other parent to calm down twice.  

I agree with the fact there is more.  I spoke with the Committee Chair.  He ultimately told me last night.  We can appeal but be advised the SM has stated in not so many words, he does not want to work with you being me. So the best way to ask the question is, if the scoutmaster doesn’t want you working with the troop, is this allowed.  How can this scoutmaster be objective about other issues when he cannot be objective about other people in the troop?  

There is far too much unsaid in this episode for any of us to fully understand what transpired here. I will say that it is unfortunate that the SPL, who is a youth leader, had to come between to adults. That should never have had to happen. And there are always two sides to everything; we have parts of your perspective on what happened, but nobody from the opposite point of view to give us a more balanced sense of what really transpired. So we can't really make any calls on the episode itself, except that things got out of hand to the point that a young man had to intervene when two adults lost control of themselves, and that was clearly unfair both to him and to any youth who may have been witness to it.

Now, you ask how a Scoutmaster can be objective about other issues when he cannot be objective about other people. But I think you are asking the wrong question, or at least it isn't a question that will bring you any useful answers. The simple fact is that being uniformly 'objective' about all things is not a requirement for serving as Scoutmaster, and it's unwise and unfair to expect such from anybody. Scouting is run by people, and people have failings - you, me the Scoutmaster - everybody. Right now, your Scoutmaster doesn't feel comfortable with your presence in the Troop. That is the fact of the matter right now. Maybe this is totally unfair, but then, maybe there is a good reason for it. His prejudice against you may be one of his failings; his reasons for it may be some of yours. But you'll get further asking how you can change and improve your own attitudes and behaviors than you will by questioning somebody else's; after all, you have total control over how you deal with this situation, but frankly, you'll discover you are powerless to control how others do. If you approach the Committee demonstrating a willingness to temper your feelings and make whatever changes are necessary to make them feel comfortable with your continued role in the Troop, it will make a far better impression on them than any accusations or attempts to justify your behaviors will. And it will teach your children a far better lesson as well.

One thing I have learned working with children is that it's never productive to tell an angry child to "calm down." Nobody wants to be told how to feel; they want to have their feelings acknowledged and respected. Rather, ask them to explain their feelings while you demonstrate to them what calm is through your own example (catch: this actually requires you to remain calm). Questions like "Why are you feeling upset?," "Can you help me understand the problem?," or "What do you think I can do to help fix this?," asked calmly without demanding calm, can do far more to generate positive results than simply telling them how to feel.

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Taz,

    Although I don't have the book in front of me, the SM gets to okay anyone working with him as an assistant ( or one of his). I guess technically the CC could demand and force the SM to accept someone as an ASM, but I would tender my resignation immediately if that was the case (I was a SM for many years). The SM has a vision and direction for the troop (based on many inputs from the scouts, and so many more sources). If any of his assistants want to go in a different direction, they need to find another troop to join. I've dropped a few assistants over the years for this same problem. Some of them found a better fit on the troop committee.

 

sst3rd

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@TazDevil22, welcome to the forums.

It's the CC's and COR's signature on the applications. You could try winning them over, but unless the SM is going around flying off the handle causing you all to be upset one another, they'll take his word about who is or is not assisting him.

Take this for the opportunity that it is. Block out time in your schedule to read a little. Or master a scouting skill like a real adult. (For example, now that the young backs have completed IOLS, I'm spending more Sunday afternoons with the local orienteering club.)

Also, you might need to sort out what it is about your son that's getting a parent all fired up to the point he doesn't want your boy around. This might mean asking other parent's of your boy's friends to give you a frank assessment.

All that takes time, and ASM -- if done well -- drains on that time.

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Okay looks like I needed to add more.  The parent that screamed at my son is the parent of a bully.  This bully is bullying my son and has received detention this past week. So in that regard my son has done nothing wrong.  But as stated and thanks to all for talking   But I will back away. 

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Hmm ... so, why was the parent screaming at your son? If your son had truly done nothing wrong, then if one connects the dots, there wouldn't have been any screaming. As a teacher I know it's easy to throw the term bully around to try and rally people against a certain child, but you have to understand that you are bringing this up to a bunch of people reading posts on the internet in their free time, and to the casual reader it seems there is a LOT you are still leaving out. Something must have led to that leader "screaming" at your child. And we know that at some point you escalated the confrontation to the point that an SPL had to intervene between two adults.

Also, you mention that the individual is the parent of a bully, but that does not make the parent a bully, and that person may well say the same about you if they were to voice their opinions here. We simply can't make a fair assessment of your situation with the little information given, especially without somebody to speak from the opposing side of view. There are two sides to everything. But by how much is not said, and by the fact that you seem to place all the blame on the other parent without indicating any role you may have played in the encounter, I think it's best to say again that you should think more about how you will deal with future encounters than on the faults of the other person. You seem to want advice badly, considering you seek it here on an anonymous online Scouting forum, but without any really substantial details, there isn't much any of us can do other than to offer general counsel, pray for the best, and hope you get things worked out. And it's not our place to request such private information anyway. But I do hope you get things resolved in a manner that helps your Scout learn how to effectively and maturely deal with difficult situations like these. 

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If the kid is a bully, then the parent is probably at wits end. He may not have the skills to deal with the situation his son put him in. (Yes it may be more complicated than that. The parents may have done things to frame the kids character, so they're  reaping what they've sown. That doesn't change the mess that they're in.) The parent needs your pity, not your wrath. And, pity is really hard to do from a position of leadership.

This could be a situation where your son stood up for himself and it didn't go well for the other kid - detention being the tip of the iceberg. I've seen plenty of those as well. If so, unless the two of them figure out how to reconcile differences peacefully, it will not be easy for your son going forward. Teaching a boy to be steadfast through fire requires a lot of attention from parents. Taking a stand while keeping a soft heart takes only comes with lots of guidance.

You don't want to be obligated to adult leadership in a troop in those situations. The other adults can be there to help your son, but you need the freedom to hand him off to them, and be ready to touch base on the car rides home.

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