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Cub Scout takes knee during pledge

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7 hours ago, Navybone said:

last thought - where is the time and place to protest in uniform ever mentioned in any BSA literature?  Scouts are expected to be Brave ( to have courage), Obedient (to the nation's laws ), and and Loyal (to the nation), but nowhere does it say he has to a robot.  I am not a necessarily fan, and if one of my scout did it I would probably be upset as being disrespectful, at least in the moment.   But he is not, he takes as stand.  I would just expect him to be able to articulate why, on his own.

@Navybone welcome to scouter.com. Political protest in uniform isn't that an oxymoron? 

Back in the 60's, I can recall a few uniformed scouts remained seated for the pledge and national anthem. Talk about Brave.  They were quietly protesting the Vietnam War. Later, they were instructed that scouts may civilly protest but not in uniform.

Maybe the policies need further explanation.

https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2018/10/23/can-packs-troops-teams-or-crews-participate-in-political-rallies/

My $0.02,

P.S. An old scouter told me, Scouting is where you ask a scout what he was thinking and you get an answer.

Edited by RememberSchiff
added P.S.

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A scout has the first amendment right to protest without being punished by the government.

BSA has a right to tell a scout that certain conduct is expected while in uniform and if a scout violates those rule, membership can be revoked.

Doing this in uniform in wrong.  Not illegal, but wrong. As was mentioned above, feel free to protest as your beliefs dictate, but not in uniform.

I hope BSA lets the scout and parents know that this is not appropriate in uniform.

This is an issue perfectly appropriate for discussion in the Citizenship in the Community merit badge.

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My struggle with a lot of protests is that they often leave me thinking, "What did this accomplish?" In the context of Scouting, I find myself asking that even more. Typically in Scouting we react to problems with action. That's kind of what we ask our scouts to do in all situations, take action, help out, do something. We don't protest hunger or homelessness by making a political statement or gesture, we volunteer at the soup kitchen, we make bag lunches for the homeless shelter, we collect blankets and socks, etc.

Even the guy who started the whole "take a knee" movement put money into organizations dedicated to helping with racial injustice, he started a foundation to help minority youth, and he basically sacrificed his career for what he believes. I'd have to ask any scouts participating in the protest, "So what are you going to do now?"

What's the next step? If it's just taking a knee to make a statement, in my opinion that's not enough to satisfy the need to do this in uniform. The standards of Scouting are higher than that. If you want to do this kind of protest in uniform, then I would expect to be able to hold you to the high standards of that uniform and ask you what action you're going to take to help.

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9 hours ago, Navybone said:

... last thought - where is the time and place to protest in uniform ever mentioned in any BSA literature?  Scouts are expected to be Brave ( to have courage), Obedient (to the nation's laws ), and and Loyal (to the nation), but nowhere does it say he has to a robot.  I am not a necessarily fan, and if one of my scout did it I would probably be upset as being disrespectful, at least in the moment.   But he is not, he takes as stand.  I would just expect him to be able to articulate why, on his own.

Given the AI capabilities that the guys down the street from my office are putting into robots, we might soon need a different metaphor, but so long as the analogy stands ...

Implied within obedience and loyalty is a certain sacrifice of autonomy. So, if in the last century, congress defined what is respectful behavior toward our nation's banner, then behaving otherwise is disobedient and disloyal unless congress says otherwise. Now, there may be cause to be disobedient and disloyal (e.g., one comes to the conclusion that under that banner, our nation has done more harm than good), but I don't think this scout thought that far ahead.

The councilman (or one of the board); however, should know better. This is no prime time pageant bought and payed for by some federal agency. This is a meeting of local leaders who are in office because, under that banner, free and fair elections are in force. Under another flag, for example, a military officer favorable to governors appointed by a foreign regent could be in those council seats. The board members could have politely explained the difference to the young man. They evidently did not. Their opponents should hold them accountable in the next election.

Edited by qwazse

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To the point of what did it accomplish - it has been successful - people are talking.  

If I think about it, not sure that Scouts should have a definite definition on if a protest is ok in uniform.  It is quite right to explain the action of one is not the position of the organization, but the Scouts is about developing thinking men and women.   And if this boy can explain is reasoning, there is great value to be gained here. 

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8 hours ago, Navybone said:

last thought - where is the time and place to protest in uniform ever mentioned in any BSA literature?  Scouts are expected to be Brave ( to have courage), Obedient (to the nation's laws ), and and Loyal (to the nation), but nowhere does it say he has to a robot.  I am not a necessarily fan, and if one of my scout did it I would probably be upset as being disrespectful, at least in the moment.   But he is not, he takes as stand.  I would just expect him to be able to articulate why, on his own.

A really good thought provoking post Navybone, thanks. 

As a mentor, I strive to get the scouts to look at the basic principles of the scouting values. In one sentence, what do the Scout Oath, Scout Law, "do a good turn daily", and so forth have in common. What is the cornerstone principle for the actions of the scouting values?

My style of mentoring is guide the scout to answer his questions, because the process of self conclusions is the profound motivation to change a habit. It's one thing to be obedient because the adults says so, it's different when the scout determines it is the right thing to do. I want the scout to answer to himself why he acted the way he did. 

As I stated before, I'm skeptical of a 10 year old making a protest of this nature. Acting out of step of the herd exposes one to danger, which is why the behavior is not instinctive at this age. 

Barry

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35 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

My style of mentoring is guide the scout to answer his questions, because the process of self conclusions is the profound motivation to change a habit. It's one thing to be obedient because the adults says so, it's different when the scout determines it is the right thing to do. I want the scout to answer to himself why he acted the way he did. 

As I stated before, I'm skeptical of a 10 year old making a protest of this nature. Acting out of step of the herd exposes one to danger, which is why the behavior is not instinctive at this age.

Totally agree.  

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This issue is less about the scout and his leaders and more about our country and the strong political divide.  Then, add in the online news in-your-face approach.  

I like the comment earlier about not making a battle of this.  IMHO, things like this should be treated just like many other situations in scouting.  It's an opportunity to interact with the scout.  An opportunity to create a reflection and a lesson.  A good scout leader should be able to turn this into a friendly, positive, constructive conversation.  

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On ‎2‎/‎8‎/‎2019 at 7:24 AM, RememberSchiff said:

Should scouts be allowed to protest while wearing the uniform?

A time and place...?

I think the thing we need to ask ourselves is whether or not we would feel the same way if the boy had taken the opposite political or social position. If he had taken a knee to protest the removal of Confederate statues and flags from the town square, would we still be so supportive?

 

 

Edited by David CO

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Like it or not, this is where we are at now.  I personally am a Patriot, veteran, 30 year Federal Employee that loves his country.  God, Country and Family was one reason I joined Scouts many years ago.  I am sickened by all the disrespect we as a country show our country now. One of the most important things I make sure we do in our Troop is show respect for the Flag and Country. Every quarter we conduct a Flag Retirement Ceremony and properly retire them with a solemn ceremony and each flag is retired being carried by two scouts and saluted while "retired".  I am not sure how to react to a Scout taking a knee during the Flag Ceremony.  I am not sure they should be in Scouting.  Maybe join football where that type of behavior is acceptable.

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I think it is a stretch to assume that the boy does not love his country or that he disrespects  the flag or the US.    As I have mentioned before, he would have learned that the flag is a symbol and not a holy relic.  It is a symbol of a great country.  Also, that being a good citizen includes speaking up for those who have no voice.  Again, the Webelos took a position, now let’s let him explain it. I think being able to discuss it makes him, and his den, a better scout(s).  

Edited by Navybone

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I really wouldn't read too much into it either.  Arguments about the right way to speak up for those who are disadvantaged are as old as our country itself.  

I think the fact that the Scout was out of uniform when leading the pledge at a City Council meeting bothers me more.  You can argue about the point he was making by kneeling.  Frankly I think it's blatantly disrespectful that he shows up to such a ceremony out of uniform.  If leading the Pledge of Allegiance at your City Council meeting isn't a uniformed occasion then I can't imagine what one is.

 

Edited by ParkMan
spellcheck error

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This does not surprise me at all. The Boy Scouts or Scouts BSA, or whatever they want to be called, have lost their way and might as well just open it up all the way. Take God out of the oath, allow atheists and/or anyone with a desire to fork over the membership dues to join. Adults should be allowed to earn the Eagle Scout Award just like the youth, requirements should be lifted and it should be a participation award. 

This comes from the thoughts of a former professional scouter and a family of Eagle Scouts. I am currently a COR as well and that will be cut short very soon.

 

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On 2/11/2019 at 7:48 PM, David CO said:

I think the thing we need to ask ourselves is whether or not we would feel the same way if the boy had taken the opposite political or social position. If he had taken a knee to protest the removal of Confederate statues and flags from the town square, would we still be so supportive?

 

 

The quote from the scout was "what I did was take a knee against racial discrimination."  I would definitely not feel supportive of anyone taking the opposite of that position.

As to political statements on the other side of the political spectrum, I have a few scouts who regularly wear MAGA hats to meetings and outings, we don't have a uniform hat, and I don't feel like I have much standing to object to their wearing them even though they are clearly politically partisan.

A couple of them brought and flew a Trump 2020 flag at a campout.  I did make them take that down from the flag pole, I told them they were free to display it on their tent if they wanted to.  Of course at least part of their motivation for that was to tweek their liberal SM, but that's OK it's a long game and I'm a grandmaster.

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