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PARENTinSCOUT

Youth Protection Policy Does Not Prohibit Retaliation

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It would seem pretty reasonable for the BSA to have a statement prohibiting retaliation of good faith YPT concerns.  Simply saying that retalation in response to good faith YPT claims can result in revocation of membership in the BSA ought to be sufficient.  Leave it to the BSA to arbitrate what good faith means on a case by case basis.

 

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Do you really think a Scouter willing to violate a youth protection policy would be likely to comply with another policy?

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My understanding that a retaliation clause would more directly effects those who are friends of the YPT offender.  i.e., we're going to make your life tough for making a YPT report against our good friend Scoutmaster Joe.

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25 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

I'm sure you've heard of defamation of character and false accusations. More common in this culture than we would like to admit.  

Barry

Personal liability insurance doesn't protect the insured from a false accusation or being defamed.

I get the sense that you are confused as to the protected party as it pertains to such insurance. If I have an excess liability policy that includes a clause for defamation, then that protection is for me if I defame someone else unknowingly or unwittingly (intentional defamation is excluded). It does nothing to protect me from being a victim of such. If the OP is being defamed, then additional insurance won't be a solution.

Regardless, BSA should have a policy as it pertains to protecting whistleblowers from retaliation.

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6 minutes ago, NealOnWheels said:

Do you really think a Scouter willing to violate a youth protection policy would be likely to comply with another policy?

Possibly. Not all YPT violations are intentional or willful. Good intentions but otherwise ignorance of the rules is just as likely a reason. My son's previous SM was violating the rules for advancement (adding requirements) and he thought he was clearly within the rules of GtoA - until I had to show him otherwise. He was less than happy about the fact that I escalated it to the district and eventually nationals because his continued unwillingness to budge - it took someone else to tell him he was wrong. I think the additional risk of him being made persona non grata by BSA if he had retaliated would most definitely have kept him from such actions for me reporting the incident. Thankfully in my case, that was not an issue but it easily could have been - and I have no protection in such a situation.

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OK, in my opinion, the OP was only asking about retaliation protection, not YPT violations. Protecting accusers from retaliation by the accused. I was only responding to retaliations. If I'm off the mark, please disregard my responses.

Barry

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5 hours ago, T2Eagle said:

To the OP, the situation as you describe it only mentions a threat of some sort prior to the YP violation report and not any actual retaliation taking place.  This may be the distinction that the council is drawing and why they say it is a matter for the Chartered Organization.  Either way the actions sound very wrong and should be properly addressed, I think you or the person threatened should in fact take the matter up with the CO.

This accurately summarizes my concern. I wanted the Council or District to send a statement to the offending troop and the indirectly to the community that retaliation by social pressure (true in this case) or by other means that disadvantage the participation of scouts are not to be tolerated. 

The Council is free to adjudicate what is bona fide retaliation and what is reporting in good faith after the complaint reached them.  What I as a parent in 2017 did not have was a BSA statement stating the community standard of non- retaliation so I can take it to the "key three" and put them in notice myself or bring it to the Charter's membership.

Instead, the Council's staff swiftly declared that the Charter committed no wrong doing in treating the suicidalily report of a parent in the manner they did.  He refused to grant me any additional meeting on behalf of the parent who brought forward the concerns.

I called the BSA hotline and they insisted I talk to the CO who said that his staff said the case is closed and refused to meet with me. 

Finally after another debacle where 90% of the troop leaders left the Charter over other problems and formed a new troop and evidence emerged that the Charter ran into problem with the State did the CO and Commissioner granted me a meeting.

There, it appeared they saw for the first time the BSA incident report form that I made one year ago that was buried by the staff.

The mother who brought forward the suicidal issue to the key three was present and so was the mother of the child who had the suicidal issue.  All were there to attest to the bad practices that lead to kids being in distress.

Yet none of them got an answer as to the retaliatory and punitive handling of the original report was wrong.

All I asked was a statement that retaliation in general is unacceptable in the context of YPP and a finding that the two mothers should get an apology.

If the Charter would not apologize, I asked for a mediated meeting with the key three to address my concern. The CO would not grant a mediated meeting but chose to deal with the matter with the offending troop leader in private. Case closed.

This is unacceptable and so far off from scouting aspiration and values. I am disappointed that BSA is a society of men and we do not treat women this way. These are mothers who tried to take care of their children, and any wrong to them should be recognized and fixed (not monetarily or legally but in scouting spirit).

What I got instead is well the BSA does not have a no retaliation policy so there is no jurisdiction for the Council to have a say. Whatever happened is nobody business. The offending troop leader appears to continue to operate without impunity.  

In YPP appearance matters, credibility and confidence matter. A clear statement of community standard is needed!

 

 

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53 minutes ago, PARENTinSCOUT said:

 

This is unacceptable and so far off from scouting aspiration and values. I am disappointed that BSA is a society of men and we do not treat women this way. These are mothers who tried to take care of their children, and any wrong to them should be recognized and fixed (not monetarily or legally but in scouting spirit).

 

You lost me here. What does this have to do with the gender of the parent? 

BSA doesn't have a retaliation policy. This is true regardless of the gender of the person with the grievance.

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1 hour ago, PARENTinSCOUT said:

I wanted the Council or District to send a statement to the offending troop and the indirectly to the community that retaliation by social pressure (true in this case) or by other means that disadvantage the participation of scouts are not to be tolerated. 

I'm so sorry to hear about this situation.  

The BSA should absolutely adopt a policy that expressly prohibits retaliation of any form against scouts, scouters or parents who do report, in good faith, any clear violations of BSA policy. That's long overdue. 

Can you be more specific about the actual retaliation that occurred? You mention "social pressure" and you mentioned bullying ad hazing in your initial post. Was that the extent of the retaliation or was there more? 

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Quote

 

I don't know what BSA could or should do in the event that a community chooses to "retaliate by social pressure" against someone. BSA has little control over the Chartered Organizations. It has no control over the community at large.

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If the DE wanted to dismiss this leader they could have. Retaliation is already not allowed... see file below. 

https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/controller/BSA_Whistle_Blower_Policy.pdf

https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/controller/code_of_conduct_policy.pdf

He also could be dismissed if the DE felt he violated the code of conduct 

https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/gss/bsa-scouter-code-of-conduct/

I don’t see a need for more policies in the BSA.  The DE probably felt what the leader did was not enough to dismiss him and hid behind a lack of policy.  If he felt otherwise, I’m sure the DE could point to some existing policy and work with council to remove him.

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DE couldn't do it, but the Scout Executive can. And I can tell you in my experience, SEs will avoid getting involved in unit matters .

Regarding this link: https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/controller/BSA_Whistle_Blower_Policy.pdf  Looks like it is for professionals. Do not know if the BSA really feels this way or if this is CYA, But I can tell you prior to 2013 when the document was created, whistleblowers were indeed retaliated against. they did it subtly. One guy I know was "promoted" to Scout Executive. Yep he went from being a DFS with 2 FDs, 1 DD, and 8 DEs under him to a Scout Exec with 1 FD and 4 DEs underneath him. Another whistleblower was "promoted" from DE to DD. The DE position that was suppose to report to him was vacant, so he had deal with that vacancy. And in addition to the assigned council duties, he also got the vacancy's council events AND the finance director's, who was fired, duties. He stayed long enough for  his kid to be born, and then left as soon as he could. 

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14 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

DE couldn't do it, but the Scout Executive can. And I can tell you in my experience, SEs will avoid getting involved in unit matters .

I think this confuses many people.  They presume that the "BSA hierarchy" will overule, supervise, correct, etc. unit leaders.

I recognized a long time ago that the BSA is essentially a francise system.  The BSA provides the program and infrastructure for the chartered organizations to run their own program.  Local unit operations and volunteer supervision is entirely within the domain of the chartered organization.  The BSA does not get involved in unit operations unless there is a safety or youth protection issue.  Beyond that, the BSA really attempts to stay uninvolved in local unit management.

Edited by ParkMan
removed a bunch of extra space from the post

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Council executives (or at least some professionals in councils) have absolutely dismissed unit volunteers for non YPT related issues under the code of conduct. (Wear your uniform in a bar and see what happens.... even if you are not drinking alcohol or with scouts).

I completely agree that the unit IH/COR/CC is the typical group (and correct group) to determine if any displine of a SM is required.  That said, I don’t buy that the lack of a YPT retaliation policy prevented the DE from acting. 

There is no need to add additional rules in YPT.  If the DE really felt the volunteer needed to be dismissed, he could absolutely pursue it under the code of conduct harassed clause.   My belief is that he agreed that there was a YPT concern, the leader addressed it and the DE felt that was enough and the unit should handle the rest.  When the parent complained he said nothing I can do and pointed to a lack of policy so he wouldn’t have to defend his decision further.  

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