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New Sex Abuse Charges

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6 hours ago, dedkad said:

Two or more adult leaders be present at all times? 

Yessir.  "Two registered adult leaders 21 years of age or over are required at all Scouting activities, including meetings."

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6 minutes ago, carebear3895 said:

*Sigh*

The Organization is still called Boy Scouts of America. Just the 11-17 program is now called Scouts BSA

That’s not confusing at all.😳

Barry

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, carebear3895 said:

Yessir.  "Two registered adult leaders 21 years of age or over are required at all Scouting activities, including meetings."

Except for the activities where a parent can substitute for a registered adult leader.  (Currently that list includes merit badge sessions and fundraising events)

Edited by elitts

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21 minutes ago, elitts said:

Except for the activities where a parent can substitute for a registered adult leader.  (Currently that list includes merit badge sessions and fundraising events)

See, that's where BSA confuses me. in the FAQ's of the barriers to abuse it says exactly that, but then a few questions down is says Lion/Tiger adult partners don't meet the two deep requirement at Den meetings.  A straight up contradiction. What if a Den meeting is also a fundraising event? How do you know what events are and aren't OK to substitute a parent?!

Sorry for Hijacking the thread. 

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4 hours ago, walk in the woods said:

The lawyer in that article is a well known ambulance chaser.  He's chasing money.  He stirs the pot looking for victims from decades ago causing people of today to be damaged.  I've seen no good in what he does.  

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Encourage you to read your latest edition of Scoutingwire.   You should have received yesterday.  

https://scoutingwire.org/ is where you can read the articles and Chief's corner.  You can also sign up for it if for some reason you did not receive it directly.  

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I'll be interested to read Dr. Warren's peer-reviewed article. It will be some time before that's published, and I hope it's not delayed by court proceedings.

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Scoutmaster Response on a Community Blog

Friends:

I post on a community blog in our metropolitan area that is viewed by a large number of parents interested in Scouting.  A posting titled “Do you trust the BSA?” Started yesterday after the articles broke.  Below is the post I made this AM:

Scoutmaster’s Thoughts on Abuse

 

I’m the Scoutmaster of the Scouts BSA Troop for girls in Washington, DC who has commented extensively on this site.  You can read the previous lengthy postings if you are curious about how Scouts BSA Troop 248 for girls operates.

 

As an initial matter, our majority-female Troop Committee and Scoutmaster staff strictly observe the current Youth Protection regulations of the BSA and the Episcopal Church.  These are publicly posted on our Troop web site and are quite rigorous.  I am happy to engage in a separate discussion string regarding how the system works and what those requirements are.

 

I thought I would let the discussion play out a bit before I jumped-in to provide supplemental information.  The postings so far demonstrate great concern about the numbers discussed in the media and this is good.  Youth abuse is one of those topics where “we can’t allow a single instance” is really true.

 

Most people reading this blog are looking for opportunities for their young people to have safe, fulfilling activities.  Our society has consistent instances of youth abuse — that is just a fact.  We look around us and see it occur in schools, churches and youth groups.  Having been on the front lines of youth service organizations for a lifetime, my position is not to trust any organization — but to understand and, if appropriate, trust the individuals and ground level group.  Always meet individually with at least a couple of the adult leaders to take their personality measure and understand how that group implements whatever youth protection  rules apply to them.  This includes teachers and coaches of school activities.  Yes, most organizations have rules somewhere — it is the regular and transparent enforcement of those rules that counts in weighing the safety of your child.

 

In our Scouts BSA Troop this plays out as follows.  Each potential adult volunteer not only has to subject to a criminal background check and take the 2-hour youth protection course, but must also meet with us individually for at least an hour to explore the background, interests and motivations of the person.  Each parent attends youth protection orientation and is required to discuss these issues with their own child.  We check that this has occurred.  Then, each and every activity is examined in advance to assure ourselves that we have the sufficient number of certified and cleared adult leaders to assure no child is ever alone without at least 2 leaders in proximity.  Our notes to parents are replete with references to our policies and confirmation that we have arranged for sufficient youth protection coverage.  This is what parents must come to an understanding of when evaluating the “trust” topic of this posting.

 

The BSA has experienced instances of youth abuse as have schools, churches, athletic teams and other organizations.  When I was a Scout in the 70’s, the only policy youth service organizations had was, I guess, whatever they thought made “common sense”.  This usually relied on the individual leaders and parents to become aware of a problem and take action.  That usually meant throwing the person out of the group, not letting the person back in and in limited instances informing law enforcement or the applicable child services agency.  If we apply today’s standards and what we know now to that time, we instantly know more and different things should have been done.  In the specific case of the BSA, back then the local-council leadership and employees were to evaluate the situation and if indicated took the above kinds of actions.  If they took action, they reported it to the BSA national office, which put the person on its “ineligible volunteer” list.  It is the unfortunate events combined with the existence and use of that list which has triggered the litigation we now see.

 

While beyond the scope of this brief note, it is accurate to summarize that the BSA came to an understanding that it had to take a dramatically different approach in the early 1980’s, and began directly implementing better youth protection measures which are now considered the leading national standard.  Instances of youth abuse diminished to a trace-level after that.  Despite extensive measures, nothing will keep every evil perpetrator of this horrible crime from our youth service organizations, so there will be a low number of crimes that have occurred since then.  Consequently, the names of reported individuals and the related incidents pre-date the change.  Broadly-speaking, participants in BSA programs experience violations at a trace-level.  Evil perpetrators know this and focus their criminal activities elsewhere where the is little or no vigilance.

 

The BSA can, should and unavoidably will participate in providing a sense of justice to those who were harmed.  It has been sued through the years and has paid millions in settlements when juries have found it did not sufficiently protect a young person.  Now that states are eliminating the laws that required lawsuits to be filed within a certain time after the abuse event, there will be a cascade of lawsuits presenting allegations as far back as the 40’s.  Most of the cases will relate to events from the early 80’s or before.  The circumstance is that the sums juries will Award victims would vastly exceed by many factors the entire value of properties and endowments the BSA has, and the organization would cease to exist.

 

The question therefore is: shall BSA programming be terminated and denied to current and future youth because of the incidents of the early 80’s and before?  Some on this blog might be expected to desire this outcome based on a wish to eliminate this risk.  Others have presented unrelated views based on recent membership policy changes or disappointment that the BSA is now offering programming to elementary-secondary aged girls.  These other views have been vigorously debated on earlier postings, so I will not discuss those views.

 

My judgement, based on direct experience, is that BSA programming is fundamentally safe, appropriate and popular with youth and parents and should be continued in its current safe format.  There will be even more enhancements to the youth protection program as more is learned through the lawsuit proceedings and a likely financial reorganization bankruptcy filing.

 

A financial reorganization bankruptcy is the best way to go in order to provide justice to as many as possible and in order to allow the BSA to keep what it needs to continue providing safe programming.  It will allow everyone aggrieved to file claims on a national basis, have the BSA marshal assets to fund the claims, and keep only what it needs.  It will cause more of the award amounts to go to more victims and substantially less to trial attorneys.  The alternative is the termination of the BSA and payments a limited number who filed their lawsuits first.

 

The BSA is a sound organization with very good intentions.  We argue about its program because we value our children.  This is good.

 
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I was looking on google to see if there were any updates.

As I looked through the first couple of pages for news stories, I noticed several law firm advertising to attract abuse victims.

I am not sure how many clients they will find, but they sure are looking!

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I am encouraged by the most recent response by National.  I do worry a little about where they seem to be going with the Volunteer Screening Database.   While it is certainly withing the rights of the BSA to exclude volunteers who have even been accused of abuse, I am not sure how I feel about these entries being part of a database shared between organizations.  It certainly seems to violate the concept of "innocent until proven guilty" and seems like it would come too close to libel.

A mildly related example is the Esteem database used by retailers to report employees who have been fired for theft (even if charges were never pressed or a conviction never achieved). Several lawsuits have been brought against Esteem because of the affect it can have on jobs.  Similarly I am just not sure what to think about a database of those only suspected or accused of abuse.

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