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Ideas - What Can Prevent Abuse in BSA


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2 hours ago, Eagledad said:

Scouting is becoming a thing of the past because the success of the program relies on trust. Even this discussion is how to undermine that process.  Scouting is a practice of applying the Scout Oath and Law instead of rules and policies. The culture (or is it counter-culture) wants rules and polices.

It is about trust, but trust is earned. It's also not binary. Some scouts and adults are never fully trusted while most are. That's the challenge. Once the scouts earned my trust to go off on their own I'd let them. When other scouts asked why they couldn't do that I'd tell them that I didn't trust them, yet. Until then they had to follow the  more restrictive rules. That encouraged some scouts to step up, some to just accept it and a few to leave. In the end, I was still responsible for their safety and that's why the parents trusted me. 

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I actually agree with you that in the BSA today, the CO is the organization responsible for the unit and they should be vetting leaders.  They should be interviewing them, ensuring they are trained, e

Wherever there are adults that can charm insecure youth, which includes all those places you mention above, there is abuse. That mindset is one ingredient to reduce abuse. Just like car safe

To me, all of these should be reported.  Reporting shouldn't be reserved for actual crimes, it should be any violation.  In EHS, we are expected to report "near misses".  Those are then used to improv

On 4/18/2021 at 11:41 PM, yknot said:

BSA has more rules because of the kinds of activities it does with kids. Baseball doesn't really need two deep. The kids are hardly ever out of public view. They are on a field, usually with other adults around. 

Just because I think the point is fairly important (though not central to your argument):  2 Deep Leadership is NOT about having 2 adults watching anything or watching each other or anything else along those lines.  It's about having a backup on site in case of an emergency.  I realize various statements occasionally reference this point as being about "keeping kids safe" but that's just because it sounds good.

13 hours ago, yknot said:

Exactly. It's pointless and used as a distraction to avoid focusing on real issues. For instance, why have we never, ever seen any reporting or data on where and when abuse or injury cases have been most likely to occur in the scouting environment. I'm not talking about personal details just useful statistics, like most incidents have occurred at overnight campouts vs. troop or pack meetings or vice versa. We have nada. The only hint we have is when some new Thou Shalt Not is issued. 

While this is entirely speculation, I'd guess it's because developing statistics of this nature is fairly time consuming and expensive.  In particular, trying to go backwards and get printed historical data transcribed into data points in a database is prohibitively expensive for most non-governmental organizations.

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22 minutes ago, elitts said:

While this is entirely speculation, I'd guess it's because developing statistics of this nature is fairly time consuming and expensive.  In particular, trying to go backwards and get printed historical data transcribed into data points in a database is prohibitively expensive for most non-governmental organizations.

All of your points may be part of the reason. My observation of the BSA bureaucratic and managing functions of the organization is that they aren't organized or efficient enough to acquire such data. How much of abuse calls are actually abuse and not just threats by parents to get their way. It's a lot. Or, how much real abuse is handled within the unit and never reported outside the unit. Again it's a lot. What one parent's definition of abuse is another parents idea of discipline. Very common in sports also.

And then, how can that even be categorized? I have a great deal of experience with BSA  membership data (or lack of), I can't even fathom getting the kind abuse data being suggested here. National just isn't that efficient. 

Barry

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8 minutes ago, elitts said:

While this is entirely speculation, I'd guess it's because developing statistics of this nature is fairly time consuming and expensive.  In particular, trying to go backwards and get printed historical data transcribed into data points in a database is prohibitively expensive for most non-governmental organizations.

BSA must have some data available because their insurers would certainly track it. A few years ago, there was some reporting in one of the annual reports although that has since stopped or at least I have been unable to find it since.

It also wouldn't be that difficult to include some basic unit level reporting on the JTE forms. That could be collated and shared. BSA already does this for merit badges, volunteer hours, and the like. 
 

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2 minutes ago, yknot said:

BSA must have some data available because their insurers would certainly track it. A few years ago, there was some reporting in one of the annual reports although that has since stopped or at least I have been unable to find it since.

It also wouldn't be that difficult to include some basic unit level reporting on the JTE forms. That could be collated and shared. BSA already does this for merit badges, volunteer hours, and the like. 
 

Again, I can't see it. I believe they may have data in the areas they have more direct control like the MBs. But not unit level unless the units were more forthcoming.

I was told (unofficially) about 25 years ago that the biggest source of abuse in the BSA was MB counselors. Which, made sense at the time because youth protection policies where just starting to include MB counselors.  I could see some better data their because counsels have a little more control at the level of the program. 

National could have more data, but it would surprise me.

Barry

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10 minutes ago, yknot said:

BSA must have some data available because their insurers would certainly track it. A few years ago, there was some reporting in one of the annual reports although that has since stopped or at least I have been unable to find it since.

It also wouldn't be that difficult to include some basic unit level reporting on the JTE forms. That could be collated and shared. BSA already does this for merit badges, volunteer hours, and the like. 
 

If all you were looking for was number of accusations, number of claims filed and stuff like that, it would be much simpler and yes, I'm sure they could tell you that.  It's getting enough data into a computer to actually do analysis that gets expensive.

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13 hours ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

That's why there is a section on the AHMR which says "Adults NOT Authorized to Take Youth to and From Events"

The burden is on the parents/guardians to inform the unit.  It would have never held up in court ;)

What you say concerning the AHMR is true and your probably correct about the legal aspect as well. But if the crying mother insisted that she told you before the meeting started, and her only kid is missing, that's not a case I would like to set before a jury.  To say nothing of the cost of legal counsel.

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On 4/20/2021 at 10:28 PM, Oldscout448 said:

What you say concerning the AHMR is true and your probably correct about the legal aspect as well. But if the crying mother insisted that she told you before the meeting started, and her only kid is missing, that's not a case I would like to set before a jury.  To say nothing of the cost of legal counsel.

If it is on the form, I very much would be liable. If it is not on the form? That is why I have personal liability insurance. For cases just like this. 

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4 hours ago, mrjohns2 said:

If it is on the form, I very much would be liable. 

Not even then.  It's not like Chuck E Cheese or day care.  We don't match up students with parents before they leave.  We just dismiss them.  Some kids walk home.  Some ride their bikes.  Some take the bus.  Some get rides from their parents.

You might be liable if you just happened to notice who the kid left with, and didn't say anything, but you are under no obligation to monitor who drops kids off and who picks them up.  No junior high or high school does that.

BSA would be crazy to voluntarily take on that obligation and liability.  It would be like inviting a whole new wave of lawsuits.  Stupidest thing I've heard of since the ineligibility files. 

 

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5 hours ago, David CO said:

Not even then.  It's not like Chuck E Cheese or day care.  We don't match up students with parents before they leave.  We just dismiss them.  Some kids walk home.  Some ride their bikes.  Some take the bus.  Some get rides from their parents.

You might be liable if you just happened to notice who the kid left with, and didn't say anything, but you are under no obligation to monitor who drops kids off and who picks them up.  No junior high or high school does that.

BSA would be crazy to voluntarily take on that obligation and liability.  It would be like inviting a whole new wave of lawsuits.  Stupidest thing I've heard of since the ineligibility files. 

 

I also think there is a difference between Cub Scouts & Scouts BSA in this area.  I wouldn't let a 2nd grader just wander off from my Den Meeting.  I also know the kids parents so I confirm who is taking him home.  Scouts BSA ... once our Troop Meeting is done, 1/2 the kids get on their bikes and ride off.  I don't track down 40 kids to confirm they made it home safely.

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2 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

I also know the kids parents so I confirm who is taking him home.  Scouts BSA ... once our Troop Meeting is done, 1/2 the kids get on their bikes and ride off.  I don't track down 40 kids to confirm they made it home safely.

Agreed. I also know, just like allergies, if anyone has a "do not let them go home with this person". For us, no Scouts have anyone listed. Which makes it easy. Allergies? A bit harder. 

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18 minutes ago, mrjohns2 said:

Agreed. I also know, just like allergies, if anyone has a "do not let them go home with this person". For us, no Scouts have anyone listed. Which makes it easy. Allergies? A bit harder. 

Our unit practice is that the adult leader in charge (and there is always only ONE designated) must review all AHMRs prior to an event for "Prohibited Adults" and allergies.  At show time, each person with a rescue inhaler or Epi-pen must produce it, or not go.

(But we do not do this for meetings...)

Edited by InquisitiveScouter
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On 4/16/2021 at 4:55 AM, MikeS72 said:

Have you had the opportunity to view the current YPT program?  It includes several very prominent experts in the field, and also includes testimony from a number of survivors, both male and female.

Yes. I've been through it, in fact.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bear in mind that many of the individuals causing the most harm and responsible for the most damage are people who will actively evade the protections put in place: in the past, now, and in the future.

The US Department of Defense and intelligence community spend tens of millions of dollars per year to find and protect against bad actors and they still have ongoing problems.  The FAA and NTSB have extensive programs for protecting air travel against defects in design, manufacturing, and maintenance but none of their programs will do anything against the pilot who intentionally dives the aircraft into the ground (rare but it happens) or who is inadequately trained/experienced for his/her flight (not as rare).  Holding BSA or any other volunteer organization to a standard that assumes liability for not detecting and protecting against these bad actors is simply unrealistic.

What BSA and other organizations can do is protect the youth against the unintentional/uninformed/insensitive actions -- similar to how DoD and the IC protect against inadvertent disclosures or the FAA may publish an Airworthiness Directive after an accident investigation.

Edited by HICO_Eagle
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