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Cub Scout takes knee during pledge

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1 hour ago, RememberSchiff said:

Should scouts be allowed to protest while wearing the uniform?

A time and place...?

Not the time and place for this. We have specific requirements around flag ceremonies, tied directly to advancement in some cases. (Wolf Duty to Country #1, Bear Paws for Action #1, etc).

Scouts are often known for their participation in flag ceremonies, color guard, etc. This doesn't sit right with me.

And for the record, I'm politically liberal and generally ok with similar protests. This just doesn't seem like an appropriate venue and circumstance for this protest. We're not a "do whatever you want" organization. We have specific requirements to be a member, things you have to agree to and adhere to. Some of them are directly tied to flag ceremonies and procedures.

We're also talking about a child here, not an adult. We can tell our scouts what to do, and if they don't want to do them they are free to leave.

Edited by FireStone

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Agree. Please elaborate your thoughts on teaching citizenship and civil (scoutlike) protest to scouts.

Can a scout write a letter to the editor about this issue and sign it. T. Jones, First Class Scout?

Edited by RememberSchiff

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Reading the article, and some others, possibly the dad encouraged him to do the protest.

Certainly the young man and his family have every right to protest in whatever way they care to and wherever they might feel the urge.  They have that right as a US citizen.  The First amendment is in fact the first for a reason.  I many not agree with his protest, but he does have the right to protest.

The problem is that the Cub is in fact representing not only his pack, but his Charted organization, his district, his council, and the BSA in general.  If he wants to protest the pledge of allegiance, show up as a citizen at the city council meeting, and kneel away.  He chose to come to the event and lead the pledge as a member of an organization that basically works to help youth learn about and develop their duty to God, duty to country, duty to self.  When representing that organization it is no longer just his protest, he is taking advantage of a spotlight not for him, but for the organization he is supposed to represent.

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Not a hill to die on. One town councilman approved, time to see what votes he gets.

For my part, I would make quite clear to my scouts that if they intended to continue to violate US Flag Code they might not be welcome to serve in other ceremonies.

Quote

Ch 1. Section 4. The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag ... should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag ...

 

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Cubs go where their parents take them. The 10 year old wasn’t motivated to protest on his own. The BSA has become an outlet for political expression.

When the gays were using the BSA for their own purpose of expression, I talked to several cub age parents who said they weren’t joining the BSA because they wanted their family involved in something that didn’t encourage political discourse. Ironically I hear the same thoughts about watching Sunday football.

Barry

Edited by Eagledad

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My first thought was there are roughly a million kids in scouts doing all sorts of really great stuff and this one kid, and likely his parent, does something off the wall and here we are reading about it in the washington post. When I was 14 or 15 I certainly had it in me to do something like this. I probably wouldn't have done it at scout flag ceremony but I might have. And my reasoning would have been to just get all the adults' dander up. I was pretty good at that and when scouts do similar things now I catch myself. Now, if you ask this kid why he did it I'm sure there would be some altruistic reason but, having been there, I'm not sure I believe it. It's likely more about getting attention and pushing buttons. The difference between then and now is the low friction media.

Should we let this bother us or just right it off under the category of dumb things kids do? Actually, that sounds like a good sub forum. :)

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1 hour ago, RememberSchiff said:

Agree. Please elaborate your thoughts on teaching citizenship and civil (scoutlike) protest to scouts.

Can a scout write a letter to the editor about this issue and sign it. T. Jones, First Class Scout?

This one gave me pause even though I agree with the general sentiment.  I think it stayed on the right side of a line, but it walked up close to it.  

A distinction I think worth drawing is between civic expression and partisan expression.  If a scout writes a letter to the editor saying "I'm a scout who camps in the metro Parks please support the metro parks on November X" signed T Jones FCS I think that's more acceptable than saying "I'm a scout and I believe candidate X is better for our county support candidate X . "

In this case the scout said   "“What I did was took a knee against racial discrimination,” he said, “which is basically [when] people are mean to other people of different colors.”

I think this falls onto the civic rather than partisan side of the distinction.

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3 hours ago, Eagledad said:

Cubs go where their parents take them. The 10 year old wasn’t motivated to protest on his own. The BSA has become an outlet for political expression.

 

I don't see any reason to think this wasn't the scout on his own.  I was 10 the first time I worked on a political campaign.  The campaign headquarters was on my paper route and they had a sign on the window saying "volunteers needed", so I walked in and volunteered.  They handed me a stapler and a stack of posters and told me to go tack them up on telephone polls, and I did things like that for the next two months.  It was the candidate my parents supported, but they had nothing to do with my volunteering and weren't themselves involved in the campaign.

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27 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

I don't see any reason to think this wasn't the scout on his own.  I was 10 the first time I worked on a political campaign.  The campaign headquarters was on my paper route and they had a sign on the window saying "volunteers needed", so I walked in and volunteered.  They handed me a stapler and a stack of posters and told me to go tack them up on telephone polls, and I did things like that for the next two months.  It was the candidate my parents supported, but they had nothing to do with my volunteering and weren't themselves involved in the campaign.

From my life experiences, you are the rare exception. 

Barry

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4 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

Agree. Please elaborate your thoughts on teaching citizenship and civil (scoutlike) protest to scouts.

Can a scout write a letter to the editor about this issue and sign it. T. Jones, First Class Scout?

Doing your duty to country can certainly include protest.  I’m not a fan of the kneeling and I see no real proposals out there in terms of the end game.  What does this kid want the city council to do?  

That said, I could imagine that there are cases where a Scout uniform could be worn while protesting.  Perhaps a city who attempts to take over a BSA camp ground through eminent domain.  I would have no problem seeing scouts show up to the city council in uniform to protest.

 There could be a few others, but in general I would think you should not be in uniform unless BSA is part of the issue you are protesting....

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2 hours ago, MattR said:

Should we let this bother us or just right it off under the category of dumb things kids do? Actually, that sounds like a good sub forum. :)

Upvote for the sub-forum idea. 😅

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1 hour ago, T2Eagle said:

In this case the scout said   "What I did was took a knee against racial discrimination,” he said, “which is basically [when] people are mean to other people of different colors.”

I think this falls onto the civic rather than partisan side of the distinction.

Fair point. I guess it also is worth considering the age of the scout, and the world view of a 10-year-old. They're still at an age where the very idea of someone being treated poorly makes them want to help and sometimes view the issue through youthfully optimistic eyes. Certainly a 10-year-old is able to understand politics, civics, social issues, etc., I'm just saying that sometimes those issues are viewed at that age in much the same way those issues are written about in school textbooks; in general terms and with very broad brush strokes, and sometimes with a sense of optimism that older kids or adults might not have.

I wonder if the mood on this topic would be much different if this story was about a 17-year-old scout. Or a 20-year-old Venturer.

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A few thoughts- as a 5th grader, he would be learning about his roles and responsibilities as a citizen as part of Building a Better World.  I would hope that Den Leaders include the role to stand up for their rights as part of the conversion.  I did with my AOL Webelos. 

Maybe the boy's Den Leader followed this up with the boy explaining what the Pledge of Allegiance means to him - it is part of the Scouting Adventure.  what an opportunity to discussion and understanding what the pledge is about (not just rote memorization).

This is an opportunity for the boy to explain his actions to his den.  And that will reveal if this was just his dads influence, or if he took the lessons he is learning to heart.  And an opportunity to discuss if he was learning the lessons the Boy Scouts hope he learns. 

To the boys point, he has his jacket on, so not wearing or showing his scout uniform, but maybe a quibbling point.  How about the boy not holding his hand over his heart?

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.

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