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21 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

It's not a lie.  It's a reflection of the times.  

There is no defense for National in how it handled all this. 

And to conceal information from an expert acting on National's behalf, where that information, if provided, would clearly have changed the expert's testimony-that is a lie by concealment.  A lie nonetheless.

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OK, I hid a couple of comments that I felt were a bit too descriptive for an open Scouting forum.  While they may be historically accurate, they felt a bit uncomfortable for me. I have asked the other

I work with several national staff and national OA on a regular basis, I can guarantee they would want to know and it would cause an immediate reaction, particularly given the current headlines regard

Turning a blind eye? That is more than a little insulting to people who care about scouting and scouts and are trying to make sure things are done right.  And you become indignant toward peopl

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1 minute ago, SiouxRanger said:

And to conceal information from an expert acting on National's behalf, where that information, if provided, would clearly have changed the expert's testimony-that is a lie by concealment.  A lie nonetheless.

Is that Scout-like? I’m a bit rusty. 

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16 minutes ago, ThenNow said:

Is that Scout-like? I’m a bit rusty. 

Apparently, the exceptions are hidden in the footnotes to the principles.

It would be easier to follow if all the footnotes were to be revealed at once.

"And, as he gradually realized that Watergate was a criminal conspiracy: 'The cliche about the other shoe dropping is no longer used or useable. We are dealing with a centipede.  Shoes will continue to drop.'"

-The Voice Of Reason: Eric Sevareid's CBS Commentaries, by T. Harrell Allen, p. viii.

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@CynicalScouter ... Be angry and vote things down if you want.  

The understanding of CSA has drastically evolved continually in the last 50 years ... including by BSA.  

Asserting "Conceal" is anger and not analytic.  I doubt any youth serving organization in the 1980s or religious or school or government had safety programs that include CSA protections.   People did not conceive to link CSA and a safety program.  That was a sign of the times.  The two were not associated.

You asserted Menninger testified that no one told him CSA was a problem in scouting.  ... Another view is that a trained degreed psychologist did not think to associate CSA with a safety issue.  Today, that's obvious to everyone.  Back then, a well respected, nationally known, trained degreed psychologist that established a treatment center named after himself did recognize it as an issue then.  That was CSA in the 1980s.

1980s - Child abuse as part of battered child syndrome, satanic cults / stranger danger / parent-child / recovered memory testimony, etc ... all potentially real, but drastically misunderstood.  A great example are the massive year+ trials on non-existant abuse incidents based on recovered memories.  San Diego McMartin trial for satanic ritual sexual abuse.  North Carolina Little Rascals day care.  

1980s - Mandatory reporting was mostly trained professionals.  Doctors.  Nurses.  Social workers.  Families of victims wanted the cases to be handled, but quietly and did not want it front page in the newspapers.  

1980s - Analytical databases did not exist.  Info like this were paper copies in file cabinets.  Companies like BSA still using mimeograph paper for copies.  Excel did not exist.  Email did not exist.  The personal computer was just beginning.  Secretaries existed and had typewriters on their desks.  People mailed letters with paper to the IVF files because that was all there was.

1980s - BSA membership was 4 million youth.  Safety issues that were visible and discussed were the physical incidents.  Lightening.  Burns.  Drownings.  No one discussed CSA and no one wanted to be associated with the assertion.  People did not want to accuse or trust those making the accustations.  BSA's knowledge were files trying to block bad volunteers.  With 4 million youth and probably a million adults.  

Yes, BSA is going to pay heavy and people are upset.  At some point, this is taken in context that society as a whole really did not handle this well at all. 

Too many groups that want to label one person or one organization as the bad guy.  That's the nature of things.  I really, really believe this promotes yet another mis-understanding of CSA.  

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6 hours ago, fred8033 said:

@CynicalScouter ... Be angry and vote things down if you want.  

The understanding of CSA has drastically evolved continually in the last 50 years ... including by BSA.  

Asserting "Conceal" is anger and not analytic.  I doubt any youth serving organization in the 1980s or religious or school or government had safety programs that include CSA protections.   People did not conceive to link CSA and a safety program.  That was a sign of the times.  The two were not associated.

You asserted Menninger testified that no one told him CSA was a problem in scouting.  ... Another view is that a trained degreed psychologist did not think to associate CSA with a safety issue.  Today, that's obvious to everyone.  Back then, a well respected, nationally known, trained degreed psychologist that established a treatment center named after himself did recognize it as an issue then.  That was CSA in the 1980s.

1980s - Child abuse as part of battered child syndrome, satanic cults / stranger danger / parent-child / recovered memory testimony, etc ... all potentially real, but drastically misunderstood.  A great example are the massive year+ trials on non-existant abuse incidents based on recovered memories.  San Diego McMartin trial for satanic ritual sexual abuse.  North Carolina Little Rascals day care.  

1980s - Mandatory reporting was mostly trained professionals.  Doctors.  Nurses.  Social workers.  Families of victims wanted the cases to be handled, but quietly and did not want it front page in the newspapers.  

1980s - Analytical databases did not exist.  Info like this were paper copies in file cabinets.  Companies like BSA still using mimeograph paper for copies.  Excel did not exist.  Email did not exist.  The personal computer was just beginning.  Secretaries existed and had typewriters on their desks.  People mailed letters with paper to the IVF files because that was all there was.

1980s - BSA membership was 4 million youth.  Safety issues that were visible and discussed were the physical incidents.  Lightening.  Burns.  Drownings.  No one discussed CSA and no one wanted to be associated with the assertion.  People did not want to accuse or trust those making the accustations.  BSA's knowledge were files trying to block bad volunteers.  With 4 million youth and probably a million adults.  

Yes, BSA is going to pay heavy and people are upset.  At some point, this is taken in context that society as a whole really did not handle this well at all. 

Too many groups that want to label one person or one organization as the bad guy.  That's the nature of things.  I really, really believe this promotes yet another mis-understanding of CSA.  

Unless I'm misunderstanding you, what you appear to be saying is that because everyone else was doing it, getting away with it, and didn't know how to handle it, BSA should not be in this situation. Your feeling seems to be that BSA is somehow being unfairly singled out for accountability. If BSA is not held accountable, though, then how would we as a society ever begin to address child abuse? How would we make that "accountability" more fair? I'm assuming you mean some kind of higher power, like government, should realize that this is an endemic problem wherever youth are involved and ... do what? Pass laws to prevent child abuse? Pass laws to limit damages that can be awarded to CSA victims? We sort of had that with SOL laws but society is peeling those back in many states. That is how society feels currently about CSA. Those laws are not targeted specificially against BSA, but due to the number of incidents and claims, it has had a significant impact on BSA.  Isn't that actually the fairness in this equation? Anyone in a look back state is free to sue for past abuse. Most of these cases have been lodged against the BSA though. If it turns out that 4-H or YMCA or other groups have as much of a troubled history with youth as BSA, and the Catholic Church for that matter, you can bet that will eventually come out. But so far it really hasn't.  

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I did a bit of digging and found that Big Brothers & Big Sisters do more vetting of volunteers than BSA.  

  • First .. they require their professional staff to interview volunteers prior to approval.  BSA outsources this work to COs.
  • Second .. they require their volunteers to have monthly meetings with their professional staff.  BSA has volunteers that have never met staff.
  • Third ... my understanding is they review social media accounts of volunteers.  BSA doesn't do this at all.  

Does this make Big Brother & Sisters safer than BSA?  I'm not sure ... but I will say there are youth serving programs that vet their volunteers more than BSA. 

I really think there could be a big opportunity for a centralized youth volunteer clearing house.  Basically, submit your details, Facebook pages, finger prints, etc.  They do the background checks & reviews.  Perhaps a phone interview.  Then the "clear" the volunteer.  As a youth volunteer in multiple organizations I would welcome it as I would have to get cleared once.  My only concern would be some sort of political hurdle which eliminates volunteers for some non youth protection issues.  But I digress...

In terms of actually carrying out activities at the unit level, I haven't seen many differences from other youth programs.

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17 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:
  • First .. they require their professional staff to interview volunteers prior to approval.  BSA outsources this work to COs.
  • Second .. they require their volunteers to have monthly meetings with their professional staff.  BSA has volunteers that have never met staff.

In light of the fact that COs have utterly abdicated their responsibility to do these functions, I would expect that the external expert brought into to review BSA's policies will mandate this.

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16 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:
  • First .. they require their professional staff to interview volunteers prior to approval.  BSA outsources this work to COs.
  • Second .. they require their volunteers to have monthly meetings with their professional staff.  BSA has volunteers that have never met staff.
  • Third ... my understanding is they review social media accounts of volunteers.  BSA doesn't do this at all

Considering that we usually only have one professional staff person (DE) per district, it kind of falls to the CO (or unit) to do this.  I am sure that while some CO's and units take this seriously, many just sign the adult app and depend on it not getting kicked back during the background check.

Again, with that one DE in most instances, it is nearly impossible to meet with all volunteer on a monthly basis.  We do see our DE at most of our Roundtables, but since attendance at Roundtable is not mandatory, there are, as you state, many volunteers who have never met a professional.  I really wish that there was a way to mandate all direct contact volunteer attend a minimum number of Roundtables during the year, at least one of which would be dedicated solely to YPT and how to implement it correctly.

I would support adding a social media disclosure form to the application process.  Just like those people who say 'I changed my mind' about registering after being given the CBC form to sign, anyone who objects to someone seeing what they post on social media has a reason for doing so.  I know that toward the end of my 4 decade career in education, we looked at social media before even interviewing applicants.  In Scouting, I have occasionally come across the social media accounts of some of our parents, and have been more than a little disturbed by some of what I saw.

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13 hours ago, ThenNow said:

Riddle me this: You’re saying BSA, as a “reflection of the times” IN THE LATER part of the 1980’s (when did YPT start?), simply overlooked and thought unimportant the decades of historic child sexual abuse while giving all other Scouting-related risk factors to the head of their risk assessment team? Ok. Roger that.

Did they tell their finance department and Scouters and Scouts and parents and LCs that Summit is a sinkhole into which one can shovel money? Oh, yeah. That’s another issue entirely. Again, a “reflection of the times.”

Well, typically, prior results have no relevance to a current risk assessment (other than as a comparison) if the underlying conditions have changed significantly enough. If a particularly significant risk factor for a particular problem (say: one on one contact and CSA) has been mitigated then the statistical results from before the mitigating actions were taken are no longer relevant to assessing the current risk.  Of course, it's still relevant to determining the effectiveness of the mitigation, but that's a different kind of analysis. 

Now, I'm not actually arguing that they shouldn't have given the data to their researcher for the historical context, but I would never think pre-YPT data is relevant to determining the current risks of Scouting.

 

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1 hour ago, Eagle1993 said:

I did a bit of digging and found that Big Brothers & Big Sisters do more vetting of volunteers than BSA.  

  • First .. they require their professional staff to interview volunteers prior to approval.  BSA outsources this work to COs.
  • Second .. they require their volunteers to have monthly meetings with their professional staff.  BSA has volunteers that have never met staff.
  • Third ... my understanding is they review social media accounts of volunteers.  BSA doesn't do this at all.  

Does this make Big Brother & Sisters safer than BSA?  I'm not sure ... but I will say there are youth serving programs that vet their volunteers more than BSA. 

I really think there could be a big opportunity for a centralized youth volunteer clearing house.  Basically, submit your details, Facebook pages, finger prints, etc.  They do the background checks & reviews.  Perhaps a phone interview.  Then the "clear" the volunteer.  As a youth volunteer in multiple organizations I would welcome it as I would have to get cleared once.  My only concern would be some sort of political hurdle which eliminates volunteers for some non youth protection issues.  But I digress...

In terms of actually carrying out activities at the unit level, I haven't seen many differences from other youth programs.

I like the idea.  One year, I had six or seven background checks because of jobs and different volunteer organizations.  I didn't care really about the checks as much as all the paperwork I had to fill out.  

Useful comment about Big Brothers & Sisters.

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My biggest problem whenever this topic comes up in a forum or article is with the headings.  The heading is always "Increasing Youth Protection standards" or "Improving Youth Protection Training standards", but I have yet to see anyone offer a convincing argument about there being something insufficient about the basic Youth Protection rules within the BSA.  All this heading does, when coupled with information about the 80k filings is give the impression that the BSA is still at step one with regard to implementing safety rules as opposed to being 40 years in.

What people usually end up discussing is "Changes to YP violation reporting and accountability", which is certainly needed.  But if we could start out the conversation there, we'd waste a lot less time.

 

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2 hours ago, yknot said:

Unless I'm misunderstanding you, what you appear to be saying is that because everyone else was doing it, getting away with it, and didn't know how to handle it, BSA should not be in this situation. Your feeling seems to be that BSA is somehow being unfairly singled out for accountability. If BSA is not held accountable, though, then how would we as a society ever begin to address child abuse? How would we make that "accountability" more fair? I'm assuming you mean some kind of higher power, like government, should realize that this is an endemic problem wherever youth are involved and ... do what? Pass laws to prevent child abuse? Pass laws to limit damages that can be awarded to CSA victims? We sort of had that with SOL laws but society is peeling those back in many states. That is how society feels currently about CSA. Those laws are not targeted specificially against BSA, but due to the number of incidents and claims, it has had a significant impact on BSA.  Isn't that actually the fairness in this equation? Anyone in a look back state is free to sue for past abuse. Most of these cases have been lodged against the BSA though. If it turns out that 4-H or YMCA or other groups have as much of a troubled history with youth as BSA, and the Catholic Church for that matter, you can bet that will eventually come out. But so far it really hasn't.  

I never went to say BSA should not pay.  I agree that BSA needs to pay.  The crimes were done under their watch.   I disagree with the demonizing as I really don't think that happened as a clandestine effort to hide the truth.  CSA is so ugly and inconceivable that everyone was in denial about the reality of the abuse and the potential evil acts of our own neighbors and friends.  ... I just don't believe people associated CSA with a common safety initiative.  

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1 hour ago, MikeS72 said:

Considering that we usually only have one professional staff person (DE) per district, it kind of falls to the CO (or unit) to do this.  I am sure that while some CO's and units take this seriously, many just sign the adult app and depend on it not getting kicked back during the background check.

Again, with that one DE in most instances, it is nearly impossible to meet with all volunteer on a monthly basis.  We do see our DE at most of our Roundtables, but since attendance at Roundtable is not mandatory, there are, as you state, many volunteers who have never met a professional.  I really wish that there was a way to mandate all direct contact volunteer attend a minimum number of Roundtables during the year, at least one of which would be dedicated solely to YPT and how to implement it correctly.

I would support adding a social media disclosure form to the application process.  Just like those people who say 'I changed my mind' about registering after being given the CBC form to sign, anyone who objects to someone seeing what they post on social media has a reason for doing so.  I know that toward the end of my 4 decade career in education, we looked at social media before even interviewing applicants.  In Scouting, I have occasionally come across the social media accounts of some of our parents, and have been more than a little disturbed by some of what I saw.

Does it have to be a paid professional?  This case is about liability of actions by volunteers.  Can BSA establish a volunteer system with real effective oversight that breaks unit boundaries?  In addition to background check and registration, volunteer can't participate until interviewed in person.   Volunteer gets suspended / removed if X number of monthly status meetings.  Could start this at the SM/CM/CC level.  Feedback ratings on different risk factors that trigger further evaluation.

BSA is too adult heavy to get each and every adult that minimally participates, but major improvements could be done with even hitting the SM/CM/CC level; maybe also the ASM level.

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No point in trying to be rational or pointing out actual improvements, as the bulk of the issue predates, as has been noted, the rapid development of YP.  But, the recording and reviews definitely need to be bolstered.  That, of course, is really something that needs public awareness on all fronts, and not just with CSA issues.  Little is ever simply black and white, and the shading is too often decides by emotion and incomplete data.  

As many have noted, we can argue all we want about the past, but we cannot change it, nor can we do justice to damage, either physical or psychological.  Improving with new knowledge and methods is paramount.  More important is doing all we can to assure the in place rules are followed and not simply shrugged off if something is out of place or odd, but we cannot believe the parties maybe involved would do that.  It has to be followed.  With luck, it will clear itself up.  Better to ere on the side of safety, especially with this issue.

It is sad that so many insist on putting today, whether in BSA, or almost any other people related interaction, in the shadows of past mistakes and societal norms.  Those that claim it is fair to drag the past into today are correct, but it should not be also used to suggest today is the same.  It is not.  And it will continue to evolve.  I just hope we can salvage the mostly positive and stop bludgeoning today's programs, not just BSA, with those mistakes of the past.

 

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2 hours ago, MikeS72 said:

Considering that we usually only have one professional staff person (DE) per district, it kind of falls to the CO (or unit) to do this.  I am sure that while some CO's and units take this seriously, many just sign the adult app and depend on it not getting kicked back during the background check.

Again, with that one DE in most instances, it is nearly impossible to meet with all volunteer on a monthly basis.  We do see our DE at most of our Roundtables, but since attendance at Roundtable is not mandatory, there are, as you state, many volunteers who have never met a professional.  I really wish that there was a way to mandate all direct contact volunteer attend a minimum number of Roundtables during the year, at least one of which would be dedicated solely to YPT and how to implement it correctly.

I understand it's a volunteer problem, but if BSA knows it lacks the volunteers to do the job properly, should it be continuing to offer programming? The US Trustee recently asked BSA why they were pursuing Chapter 11 instead of Chapter 7 if they didn't have enough money to meet the requirements of the law. Youth Protection is the same situation. If you know you can't do the job properly, then maybe you should desist. It puts the importance of maintaining the program ahead of the safety of kids.  

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