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PARENTinSCOUT

Youth Protection Policy Does Not Prohibit Retaliation

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9 hours ago, David CO said:

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

I am sharing my personal angle to why this particular incident most bothers me.  The policy or lack thereof, is gender neutral but its impact is not. The original concerns came from mothers and the people who handled their concerns poorly are fathers and  impacts are on sons. There's a lesson about gender relation to be learned here.

Policies for good or bad do impact people differently, and I felt strongly the gender angle should not be missed especially in a gender-based organization.

When I told the chief Commissioner this perspective before he agreed to review my incident report form, his response was "how could you!", i.e. saying that Council leadership had a sexist bent or a blindspot. He even demanded that I apologise. 

But then he did the right thing by inviting the Executive to be at the meeting, personally invited the mother who brought forward the concern of children in distress to the meeting, offered her interpretor and had her letter translated and reviewed to assess the impact.

That was the right thing to do, but a lot for a busy and understaffed Council leadership. 

The bottom line is that BSA has a duty to do what all governance bodies do with a protective policy which is to deter the retribution and retaliation in the reporting process and make this point with all members that this is a part of their obligation in youth protection.

The symbiotic culture in scouting communities makes this no-brainer concept more important not less, because leaders need to be a bit more self aware, as my leaders (from the CO to the Council) could have been more so and it would have helped to prevent a fiasco. 

70 scouts and 10 leaders left to form a new CO, 6 months after I left. A lot of lives and friendships were disrupted, and the credibility of the Council was damaged and still not repaired.

To this day, no one at the Council has said anything about non-retaliation policy, even acknowledging the standard. They probably worry about lawsuit issues and when I and others only care about good scouting. 

If we're going to have a policy on Youth Protection, have a full policy! Enough said.

Thanks for your help!

 

 

 

 

 

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I really appreciate this forum, and glad to have found it. Until now, I felt listened to by various people in scouting community but not heard. 

Thanks for your time and honestly. I m hipeful good changes will come.

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Hi @PARENTinSCOUT,

If you really want to see this policy happen I would encourage you to seek out your council's Youth Protection champion.  If your council has one, this would be a senior volunteer who has the mandate of making Youth Protection policies successful in your council.  This volunteer would not get involved in resolving what happened in your specific troop.  But, they would be a person to talk with about the possibility of your council adopting a no retaliation policiy for reports of Youth Protection violations.  Futher, this person would be aware of similar regional level contacts who they could discuss this process of how to get a no retaliation policy adopted at a larger level in Scouting.

Best of luck!

 

 

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15 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

 

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

This appears to only relate to employees:

"These procedures relate to employee complaints."

If this does cover volunteers and parents, then it should probably be referenced in the YPT.

 

15 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

I don’t see a need for more policies in the BSA.  

Perhaps, but then a policy against retaliation only has value if parents and volunteers know of its existence.

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7 hours ago, ParkMan said:

Hi @PARENTinSCOUT,

If you really want to see this policy happen I would encourage you to seek out your council's Youth Protection champion.  If your council has one, this would be a senior volunteer who has the mandate of making Youth Protection policies successful in your council.  This volunteer would not get involved in resolving what happened in your specific troop.  But, they would be a person to talk with about the possibility of your council adopting a no retaliation policiy for reports of Youth Protection violations.  Futher, this person would be aware of similar regional level contacts who they could discuss this process of how to get a no retaliation policy adopted at a larger level in Scouting.

Best of luck!

 

 

Yes, I have contacted the relevant people in the district and Council specific to the policy update. Their usual response is nothing, and I assume that it is because they know I am part of the "hot-potato" issue with a troop in their district and they don't want to be near it.

It is fair to be concerned that someone like me is seeking attention on a wide policy issue in order to get ahead on a small local conflict.

I presented my argument to the Council (council executive) that BSA Youth Protection policy clearly states that reporting process should reflect community standard  (i.e. local and state laws). In California where I live, all reporting must be handled confidentially and without duress to the reporter. If reporter conducted him/herself improperly or with malice, that must be handled separately and away from the safety issue of the protected party/child. I believe all 50 states have non-retaliation language in their reporting procedures. If so, then why not BSA?

You can't underestimate the value of a policy in a hand of a parent like me when we talk to a leader. They do back down and comply when they are not aware that certain policy exists.

This language needs to be in YPT.

 

 

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A question to you: if the past and possible ongoing sex abuse problem within BSA which threatens the viability of the scouting movement is not sufficient to convince the organization to have a prudent non-retaliation statement in its Youth Protection Policy, then what will compel it to do so, except with outside pressure?

A petition on change.org is what I am thinking is needed to bring about this very small but essential improvement in YPP.

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On ‎2‎/‎24‎/‎2019 at 10:11 AM, PARENTinSCOUT said:

A question to you: if the past and possible ongoing sex abuse problem within BSA which threatens the viability of the scouting movement is not sufficient to convince the organization to have a prudent non-retaliation statement in its Youth Protection Policy, then what will compel it to do so, except with outside pressure?

A petition on change.org is what I am thinking is needed to bring about this very small but essential improvement in YPP.

As someone that supports your position, I am of the opinion that the ONE SURE THING that is likely to INCREASE retaliation is to go out and create a public petition.

There are many ways to discuss this internally before you make it subject to the evening news.

When I was having a problem with my son's SM, I sent an inquiry to Ask The Expert via Scouting Magazine. You might try doing the same. You might also simply consider calling Nationals and speaking to someone of authority. YPT is a national policy, not a council one so it might make more sense to first address this at a higher level.

In the end, you also need to be aware and accepting of the fact that by the time you are successful with any change, it might be too late to help with your particular situation. Might end up having to be happy with the idea that no one else will have to experience what you did without protection(s).

 

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To Hawkwin, I appreciate the camraderie in your concerns and comment.

I don't have an open complaint with my Council right now except I did wish that the mother who was mistreated got a proper apology from the offending CO. 

In my Council, there are immigrants wanting to do their own troops.  The Council encourages them to form Charter Organizations- scouting-only COs.  When the troop is its own CO, the leader becomes the Key One rather than Key Three as required by BSA. Name borrowing is what they do make it look like key-three.

The Key One structure is essentially a dictatorship in which the leader would HAVE all the incentives to hide wrongdoing and suppress reporting. This is exactly what happened in my former troop.

The Council benefits from scouting only COs because they bring in numbers and revenues.  

The Commissioners don't ask about the “nonprofit” status of these COs at recharter time, like state registrations, and don't tell if they see something is wrong with internal accountability.

Am I accusing my Council of being complicit in undermining the key-three structure and put safety  of children at risk? Hell yeah! That's why they don't talk to me anymore.

The national BSA does have my concern about deficiency of YPT for 1.5 years now.  To me, it's the same deficiency that lead the Catholic Church to its trouble now - code of silence and no faith in non-retaliation.

 To be fair, the code of silence does work for BSA, i.e. benefitting internal cohesion, a good thing. It just shouldn't work for abuse cases. So it's not as easy as adding a few words into the YPT policy.

I gave them until tax day then I will decide whether or not to launch my change.org petition unless they tell me something is in the works for YPT. But I can change my mind too and launch it sooner.

In terms of retaliation against me, I came to scouting with the belief that it's the best path to peace even world peace.   I still do. The corruption and abuses however slight are not a part of this path. If I incur losses, that's a reflection of BSA not scouting.  I will find out who my scouting friends actually are.

 

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5 hours ago, PARENTinSCOUT said:

 

In my Council, there are immigrants wanting to do their own troops.  The Council encourages them to form Charter Organizations- scouting-only COs.  When the troop is its own CO, the leader becomes the Key One rather than Key Three as required by BSA. Name borrowing is what they do make it look like key-three.

 

Though I disagree with you on the retaliation issue, I think you are absolutely correct in your criticism of the council encouraging people to form paper CO's. This is the real problem. A scout unit needs to have a strong, supportive, active, and responsible Chartered Organization.

Edited by David CO

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Let me be simple and direct...

if there is an issue of corporal punishment going on, there are two steps for a parent to take immediately:

1) File a complaint with Council. 

2) Find another Pack, Troop, or Crew for your child. 

Do not pass go.  Do not collect $200, until both of these are done. 

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I did both. Got my kids and a hundred scouts relief from humiliating and punitive practices coming from old scouting methods in Asia. Good riddance and I don't want to elaborate the details. 

I hope to get rid of the fear of authority in scouting too, thus my push to update YPT. Respect yes, fear no.  Will wait to collect my $200!

 

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I am still  surprised at the amount of seeming hypocracy sometimes exhibited  in the BSA .  Scout Promise? Scout Law?   So simple, yet so difficult, it would seem , for some to follow and apply to their lives, responsibilities and assumed duties.

It would seem some folks will, unfortunately,  seek to be "the" authority, regardless of the established rules and procedures.  Regardless of the realities. Regardless of the damage done to others in the process.

Parentinscout, I do sympathize with you, having dealt with the BSA "good ol' boy" network myself, but not in anything like your well described case.   Retaliation?  Oh yeah.  How dare you question our pronouncement. If you don't like the way you are treated, don't you dare compare it to the Scout Promise and Law. Just go away...…  

I wish you well in your efforts to shine light on poor behavior, behavior that is in no way reflective of the ideals espoused in our Scout Law and Promise.  

"Making ethical decisions, " is that what I heard?   

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