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A Letter from BSA’s Chief Diversity Officer & Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion


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22 minutes ago, ThenNow said:

I’m not sure if this is widely known. Thoughts?

https://13wham.com/news/local/transgender-teen-kicked-out-of-boy-scout-troop

1) She will lose any lawsuit, so no need to waste $.

2) Gender is complex.  Right now, BSA has Troops separated by gender (boy Troops and girl Troops).  If a youth identifies as a girl, then they must be in a girl Troop.  She should be treated like any other girl and since there is no girl Troop then loan scout is her only option.

Now ... as I mentioned, gender is more complex.  I have a scout who identifies as non binary.  Actually, I am seeing more non binary youth than transgender.   We have handled their gender as their initial gender they registered with.

I think the debate goes back to if we should have coed Scout BSA units.  I prefer that we allow that as an option, but given our current rules/model, the unit/council took the correct action.  

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I agree Fred, I  have never heard a kid say that they joined Scouts to learn leadership, responsibility, life enriching lessons, diversity or inclusion.  They want to camp out, play with fire and kniv

I am a lifer. Started as a Cub, earned Eagle and aged out. Was a Sea Scout for a bit while serving as an ASM. Not only did i not leave the movement,  but I also worked for it.  In my professional opin

This is a long-stated position of mine.   BSA needs to be careful about their messages to the adult volunteers.  Adult volunteers too often hear that BSA is about leadership.  Thus, their job is to

2 hours ago, ThenNow said:

I’m not sure if this is widely known. Thoughts?

https://13wham.com/news/local/transgender-teen-kicked-out-of-boy-scout-troop

I just read this article before I saw your post.  Unfortunately this is an issue we are likely to see more of.

"But Skylar has been a member of the all male Troop for six years.  What's the big deal if he identifies as a female now?  We don't understand why he can't continue with the Troop?  What are you going to do about this Mr. Scout Executive, Council, BSA?  We're going to sue."

Any bets on how long it will take the BSA to cave on this one?

 

Edited by tnmule20
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Well, since we have the ubiquitous note at the article's end that Skylar is considering legal action.  Who would have thought that would not pop up?  Back to the legal morasses we create with our "creative" system.

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It just highlights the need to have the co-ed troop option available because that would solve something that is only going to come up more and more frequently. Many units are operating that way in practice anyway, so there is not much BSA precedent to stand on when so many councils are already "looking the other way."  There is no way for BSA to "win" on this issue, even if the mom should lose a lawsuit.

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2 minutes ago, yknot said:

It just highlights the need to have the co-ed troop option available because that would solve something that is only going to come up more and more frequently. Many units are operating that way in practice anyway, so there is not much BSA precedent to stand on when so many councils are already "looking the other way."  There is no way for BSA to "win" on this issue, even if the mom should lose a lawsuit.

Co-ed Troops might solve it for some but they will cause problems for others.  Will every Troop have to be co-ed?  Probably.  Once you start there is no way back.

My Troop wants to remain an all male Troop.  The BSA implements co-ed Troops with the option to stay single gender Troops if desired.  A girl or a transgender male or a transgender girl want to join my Troop.  What leg does my Troop have to stand on?  None because the BSA willingly or unwillingly just cut us off at the knees.

We will argue that we are allowed to be a single gender Troop.  They will argue that they don't care.  They want to be a member of our Troop and the BSA has set the precedent by allowing co-ed Troops therefore they want our Troop to be co-ed too.  Then there will be the bullying with threats of legal action.

See where I'm going with this?

 

 

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15 minutes ago, yknot said:

There is no way for BSA to "win" on this issue, even if the mom should lose a lawsuit.

There is no legal basis to file a lawsuit.  The Supreme Court already ruled on Dale v BSA.  I don't see this even getting to the supreme court and if it somehow did there is 0% they would overrule Dale.

BSA is a private organization.  They can decide who they accept as members.

16 minutes ago, yknot said:

It just highlights the need to have the co-ed troop option available because that would solve something that is only going to come up more and more frequently.

Now even with co-ed troops there is complexity.  Do you have a transgender girl tent with another girl?  What about bathrooms/showers that are shared?

I'm personally a fan of co-ed troops, and honestly most of the girl Troops I see operate that way.  That said, this is complex and BSA will probably need to keep working on guidelines/rules.

1 minute ago, tnmule20 said:

My Troop wants to remain an all male Troop.  The BSA implements co-ed Troops with the option to stay single gender Troops if desired.  A girl or a transgender male or a transgender girl want to join my Troop.  What leg does my Troop have to stand on?  None because the BSA willingly or unwillingly just cut us off at the knees.

I expect this will vary based on where you live.  If you live in an area with other co-ed Troops you are probably going to be ok remaining male only.  I haven't seen any pressure at the Pack level to force packs to go co-ed in my area.  Perhaps because we have many Packs that accept girls. Now, that said, if you have no co-ed Troops in the area, I could see the council starting to pressure some of the all boy Troops to consider being co-ed.  I also wouldn't be surprised, if eventually, BSA would require all new units to be co-ed.

I'm personally a fan of allowing all boy, all girl and co-ed BSA Troops.  I trust the leaders of units to determine what is best for their scouts.  I especially see benefits for allowing all boy Troops to continue as there are many boys who wouldn't be comfortable in a co-ed Troop.  If BSA does open up co-ed Troops, I hope they respect the wishes of units looking to remain boy only.

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5 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

if you have no co-ed Troops in the area, I could see the council starting to pressure some of the all boy Troops to consider being co-ed.  I also wouldn't be surprised, if eventually, BSA would require all new units to be co-ed.

My CO would not go for that at all.  We would loose our Charter.  That is something the BSA needs to consider if a co-ed decision is ever made.  Many CO's won't support this and many Troops could be lost.

8 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

If BSA does open up co-ed Troops, I hope they respect the wishes of units looking to remain boy only.

I hope so too.

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53 minutes ago, tnmule20 said:

My CO would not go for that at all.  We would loose our Charter.  That is something the BSA needs to consider if a co-ed decision is ever made.  Many CO's won't support this and many Troops could be lost.

I hope so too.

It works fine with Cubs.  One or the other, or both.  No reason it cannot work with older youth.  It is all a bunch of nonsense that somehow they cannot mix.  In really small units, we lose that option for the random girl to join.  As long as you keep the leadership, male and female, in order and follow the YP guidelines there should be no issue.  As far as girls and boys and leadership is concerned, the boy that is ready will not be buffaloed by a slightly more mature girl who like to take charge.  That is, in my view, basically faux psychology based on 20 years of subbing in middle schools and lower, and simply watching them at camp where all girl units have little issue mixing when necessary.

 

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15 minutes ago, skeptic said:

It works fine with Cubs.  One or the other, or both.  No reason it cannot work with older youth.  It is all a bunch of nonsense that somehow they cannot mix.  In really small units, we lose that option for the random girl to join.  As long as you keep the leadership, male and female, in order and follow the YP guidelines there should be no issue.  As far as girls and boys and leadership is concerned, the boy that is ready will not be buffaloed by a slightly more mature girl who like to take charge.  That is, in my view, basically faux psychology based on 20 years of subbing in middle schools and lower, and simply watching them at camp where all girl units have little issue mixing when necessary.

 

I guess we must live in different worlds.  I've  been watching the girls take charge of our mixed troop for the last year  and a half..  Or maybe the boys have just abdicated.   Yes, I know that mixed troops are still verboten. So on  paper we have two troops. In reality...

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25 minutes ago, skeptic said:

It works fine with Cubs.  One or the other, or both.  No reason it cannot work with older youth.  It is all a bunch of nonsense that somehow they cannot mix.  In really small units, we lose that option for the random girl to join.  As long as you keep the leadership, male and female, in order and follow the YP guidelines there should be no issue.  As far as girls and boys and leadership is concerned, the boy that is ready will not be buffaloed by a slightly more mature girl who like to take charge.  That is, in my view, basically faux psychology based on 20 years of subbing in middle schools and lower, and simply watching them at camp where all girl units have little issue mixing when necessary.

 

Fair points but in the end not my decision.  CO has made it pretty clear since 2019 when the decision was made to allow girls.

I think I know that fish in your signature picture.  MTCBSA?

 

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51 minutes ago, skeptic said:

It works fine with Cubs.  One or the other, or both.  No reason it cannot work with older youth.  It is all a bunch of nonsense that somehow they cannot mix.  In really small units, we lose that option for the random girl to join.  As long as you keep the leadership, male and female, in order and follow the YP guidelines there should be no issue.  As far as girls and boys and leadership is concerned, the boy that is ready will not be buffaloed by a slightly more mature girl who like to take charge.  That is, in my view, basically faux psychology based on 20 years of subbing in middle schools and lower, and simply watching them at camp where all girl units have little issue mixing when necessary.

 

To me, it's less of a concern about girls taking charge than it is having to live with an extension of high school into Scouting.  My experience was that the moment girls factored into the mix, the dynamics changed in the troop.  Guys were suddenly showing off, picking on other kids, etc.  We ran into co-ed Italian and Norwegian troops at Kandersteg and this happened.  Same thing when the sister of one of the Scouts in my troop came with us to a water park.  One of the guys had a crush on her at school, and he started being a dick to others when she was there.  Maybe the 21st century male is different, but I doubt it.  

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24 minutes ago, Oldscout448 said:

I guess we must live in different worlds.  I've  been watching the girls take charge of our mixed troop for the last year  and a half..  Or maybe the boys have just abdicated.   Yes, I know that mixed troops are still verboten. So on  paper we have two troops. In reality...

That simply shows me that the male youth are not willing to step up.  The real leaders will come to the top, given the opportunities.  If the girls are taking the lead, what does that say for the boys?  They can either take the challenge, or let the girls do the job and simply coast.  Again, the ones that want to will come to the fore.  Still, just my own view.  

 

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I have trouble with the ease with which some in Scouting "wink wink" about operating a mixed gender troop already. What does that say about the first point of the Scout Law if we openly flaunt the rules and look the other way?

Edited by ToKindle96
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Welcome to the forum,  @ToKindle96

I agree that dual troops are essentially coed.

I have not seen any of the boys be idiots but it doesn't surprise me. If I were still SM and I did see it we would have a discussion.

I have also not seen the girls take over. They like their patrol. They also like a bigger troop with a bunch of patrols. It's doing more to promote patrol method than anything else.

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