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RememberSchiff

YP bungled, 60 year old troop disbands

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Dec 1, 2017, a 60 year old troop disbands, after its leaders and Council approved adult leader membership of a registered sex offender and failed to notify parents.

The SM  stated that to avoid personal attacks against the adult leaders and Charter Organization,  he and three other leaders stepped down. No one stepped up to replace them and so the CO decided against rechartering.

The disbandment was precipitated by a Scout parent who did a California Megan Law (website, which I believe many state have) check on an adult volunteer who with another ASM drove her son home. The volunteer appeared on the Megan Law list with a conviction ...

Rest of story at source link:

https://kernvalleysun.com/boy-scout-troop-690-disbands/

 

Edited by RememberSchiff
date correction thanks to Thunderbird
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Interesting article, leaves a lot of questions unanswered, first and foremost why did the Council background check not turn up what the parent's web search did.

If someone came to me and said they'd spent 8 years in prison I certainly would have done my own googling, AND made sure that the Council knew there was reason to look closely at the background, AND made sure my CO knew what was going on and had a chance to weigh in in a well informed manner, and questioned council again when the membership card first came through.

Frankly based on the first information I doubt I would have gone so far as to accept the application; we don't need volunteers that desperately, and this wasn't even a case of the parent of a scout, but rather just the relative of a fellow leader.

I'm all for second chances and you can't just ban someone from society, but that doesn't mean that your opportunities for non necessity are not going to be curtailed.

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Why had this been possible? parents asked.

The article points to  one of the five YP strategy points, "Establishing leader selection procedures to prevent offenders from entering the BSA leadership ranks" going awry, but was that correct?   

BSA’s Youth Protection program follows a five-point strategy:

  1. Educating Scouting volunteers, parents, and Scouts to aid in the detection and prevention of child abuse
  2. Establishing leader selection procedures to prevent offenders from entering the BSA leadership ranks
  3. Establishing policies that create barriers to child abuse within the program
  4. Encouraging Scouts to report improper behavior in order to identify offenders quickly
  5. Swift removal and reporting of alleged offenders.
From the article , except for the mentioned (helicopter?) parent, it appears little of the above was followed. And now scouts have left , some adult leaders too,  the unit is gone, the CO is no longer a CO but another was found,  the Council SE and CEO remains.
 
And yet, I think we too often see a volunteer stepping in BEFORE vetted and trained. And yes, often there is no issue with a volunteer. The volunteer in this article may have been exonerated as he claimed and just wanted to help. 
 
IMO, as demanded by a parent in the article, this disturbing case should be covered in YP training. 
 
My $0.02,
Edited by RememberSchiff
grammar

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Real issue I have.  When is the background done versus the crime?

 

Its my understanding that national only runs a background check when you send in a new application.  I've had adults run off the same application for 10+ years, never changing positions, so never sending in a new application.  I can only assume that National is not re-running background checks on everyone, every year.

 

At least the offender was following 2 deep leadership in a car.

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I think this post belongs under Council Relations or Wood Badge and Adult Leader Training.

These bungles are more common than we would like to think.

The paperwork often doesn't keep up with the person. That means that sometimes, someone somewhere is going to fall (creep?) through the cracks.

Leaders aren't trained in how to communicate with parents. And parents aren't trained in how to deal with folks who appear on these lists.

For my part (and this is from seeing a couple of young adult leaders close to home face accusations), I'd invite someone like that over to Sunday dinner and have him/her explain what happened in their own terms in front of my kids. Better the snake you know ...

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30 minutes ago, scotteg83 said:

I can only assume that National is not re-running background checks on everyone, every year.

I would think that would be extremely costly.  I would also question whether submitting an application for a secondary position (i.e., an ASM who is also a den leader or holds a district position) actually triggers another background check, as there is a cost each time it is redone on an existing volunteer.

I can honestly say that other than my original employment background check with the school system, I have no idea if it has been rerun any time in the last 20 years or more.  In that instance, it would cost our school district in excess of $350,000 each year if we did them annually.  I can imagine the cost for BSA to run a full background check on every volunteer every year would run upward of nine figures annually.

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As reported, Mom, not the CO, unit leaders.or Council,  "ran a quick check online and found the man on California Megan Law" website. Cost free. 

Instead of background checks, perhaps  just a list check. Each month or week, Council could compare their employee and member list against the Megan list.  They likely have scouts who could write the software.  

Or units have a designated Mom check?

https://www.meganslaw.ca.gov 

Edited by RememberSchiff
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1 hour ago, qwazse said:

I think this post belongs under Council Relations or Wood Badge and Adult Leader Training.

These bungles are more common than we would like to think.

The paperwork often doesn't keep up with the person. That means that sometimes, someone somewhere is going to fall (creep?) through the cracks.

Leaders aren't trained in how to communicate with parents. And parents aren't trained in how to deal with folks who appear on these lists.

For my part (and this is from seeing a couple of young adult leaders close to home face accusations), I'd invite someone like that over to Sunday dinner and have him/her explain what happened in their own terms in front of my kids. Better the snake you know ...

More than you know. I know one unit that had a "DL" with a 20 year old possession with the intent to distribute conviction. Paperwork was sent to council. Never heard back from then. Found out at recharter he was not listed. Council said they notified the CO,  but the  pack's leadership was never informed. 

Also my wife submitted 3 applications to be an ADL. One of those hand delivered to the DE. Didn't find out she was not registered until the pack went to submit a Heroism Award app for her. Pack was ticked, and wife, who has been registered previously in 3 councils, including the current one we are in.

 

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Of course you spend the money to do the checks each year. Doesn't matter how much it costs. Less than one or two lawsuits, I'm sure. Shoot, make the volunteers pay for it. As it stands now, adults pay $33 for registration in our council. This shouldn't even be a debate. Your No. 1 customer is a child and protecting them is Job 1. 

It's a youth organization, for crying out loud. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, CherokeeScouter said:

 Shoot, make the volunteers pay for it. As it stands now, adults pay $33 for registration in our council.

I thought one of the reasons why registration increased 275% in an 8 year period  was to cover background checks.

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1 hour ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

I thought one of the reasons why registration increased 275% in an 8 year period  was to cover background checks.

If that was the case, we wouldn't have registered sex offenders as leaders

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28 minutes ago, scotteg83 said:

If that was the case, we wouldn't have registered sex offenders as leaders

Not true. The logistics of tracking and maintaining registries is unwieldy. Even in the best possible circumstance, although the probability of any given unit having an offender pass screening through is extremely low, the probability that one of the thousands of units out there will somewhere is extremely high.

Compound that with the possibility that someone who is exonerated may still be in a registry for some time, and you have a real mess.

It's a litigant's dream. The more a large organization invests in a comprehensive procedure, the more likely it will fail at least once regularly. The larger the organization, the more likely the pay-out.

In PA, volunteers have to renew their clearances every five years. A lot can happen in five years.

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If the BSA started doing a couple hundred thousand a year, I imagine it would be pretty cost effective to insource it.  I imagine the background checks are really just checking the names against a number of different lists.  

The bigger issue I see is the fact that adults are considered active before background checks are done.  It creates a culture where we submit the applications and then don't think about it.  Really, the BSA ought to require background checks prior to allowing a leader to begin serving.  Unit leaders should really be required to wait until they get affirmative notification of completed background checks.  I know it will create a lag in leaders getting started - but it seems a small inconvenience if it will help eliminate these problrms.

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20 minutes ago, qwazse said:

Compound that with the possibility that someone who is exonerated may still be in a registry for some time, and you have a real mess.

There is also the problem that the registry has errors in it (people that should be one the list are not, people that should never have been on the list are, bad names, bad addresses, etc.). Not to mention, in some states if you are registered sex offender, getting your conviction overturned may not get you off the registry (I don't know how that works in California with the Megan's List). So yes, it can be a real mess.

I remember reading about a case several years ago where some local guy was found shot to death in his home and it was discovered that he was listed as a child molester in the database, even though he wasn't. His case was unsolved and it is assumed that the incorrect listing may have been the motive.

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