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I am at a loss for words. Last Saturday at a 100 year Centennial Camporee my son was bullied by two scoutmasters. He was told that he could not wear his class b shirt because it was pink. They went as far at telling him he would not be allowed to participate if he didn’t change his shirt. This lead to him calling me from camp upset and crying (12 years old). I called the camp authorities and my oldest son who was staff at the event to go and correct this matter. They did and I was to file a report and did so via the online YPT infraction portal. I also sent photos of who spoke to the scoutmaster. Mind you the “PINK” class b was a color our past scoutmaster wore and the kids liked it so much they had me order them one just like it.  A class B is as per the handbook “a t-shirt and shorts (BSA) or any attire appropriate for an activity”.  Now here is my concern. Local council called me yesterday stating that they are conducting an investigation and asked questions. Later I get an email from my committee chair wanting me to give her a copy of the report I gave council in confidentiality. As far as I am aware it is only shared with the scout executive and YPT membership specialists.

Now this committee member is wanting to hold a meeting of all members and volunteers to discuss the YPT infraction. More or less putting me on trial in front of the scoutmasters who were reported. On top of that the Council executive has brushed the incident off and wiped his hands of this.  Note this was not the first time the soutmaster has been officially reported for YPT infractions. Other report was for intimidation of a scout also about the pink shirt. Prior to all the official reporting I raised my concerns with the District Executive and committee chair 5 months ago concerning bullying and humiliation of a scout at a camp out. 

I need to know what my rights are. All documentations states that if there is any infraction its to be reported. As a parent I am there to protect my children.  These people might just want to kick my boys out of the troop for them reporting abuse. Is that even leagal?What can I do?  I will post a photo of the shirt in question.  I will also post a pic with our old scoutmaster wearing the same shirt. Any advice would be appreciated.  

**the boys in the troop have the shirt with the big 58 in many colors. 

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F46EEBDA-FA38-41BB-BB2F-D9346277858F.jpeg

C2A1B3AF-47CE-4D65-A98B-E223B1F15D02.jpeg

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I'm going to agree that, on it's face, this wasn't really a YP violation.  It may well have been a "Bad Scoutmaster " situation, but not a Youth Protection violation.  A single incidence of being mean

I'm kinda disturbed by the attitude displayed here that bullying is not a reportable incident. Handling stuff like this on the quiet is a big part of what has led to the BSA's current legal trouble.

I'd draw a distinction between conducting an investigation (implying having authority to investigate, collect evidence, draw conclusions, and perhaps take disciplinary action), and merely collecting e

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YPT issues are shared with the Scout Executive  and all reports should be held in confidence.  However, maybe I'm old fashioned but I would not characterize this incident as a youth protection issue.  Was the Scoutmaster wrong in his behavior?  Quite possibly.  When you state your son was bullied by "two Scoutmasters" - did you mean the Scoutmaster from two different troops (quite possibly none of which belongs to your son's troop)?  Or more probably, by two Scouters that were either the SM and/or an ASM of your son's troop?  If that was the case (all parties were members of the same troop), I'd try to handle it internally and approach the COR and CC (Charter Organization Representative and Committee Chair) if you or your son don't want to deal with the SM/ASM directly.

I can see a determination that is a judgment call on what is or what is not a "class b" (not really a scout term but widely used) but the predominant color of the short shouldn't be an issue.

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FWIW, I don't see anything at all wrong with the shirt.  It brings to mind a hike we had at Double H (New Mexico/Backpacking) a couple of decades ago.  One of the adult Scouters had on a pair of hot pink shorts (and I mean really short shorts).    He wasn't in our trek but our boys couldn't resist teasing me (their Scoutmaster) and insisting I get a pair to match!   It was all in good fun and out of earshot of the other group.

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The scout masters wanted to prohibit my child from participating at the camporee events and were going to force him to sit at the camp site all day. They told him”why can’t you be normal” and their behavior caused other scouts to behave poorly towards him.  For 45 min this man humiliated him in front of the other boys. He’s a 12 year old kid.   The prior incident this person got into the face of the SPL and was forcing the issue as to not wear a pink shirt. Tonight they want to essentially put me on trial as if I did something wrong.  

That’s how it should be. just a fun thing. Pink socks rock!

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1 hour ago, Cecille25 said:

bullied by two scoutmasters.

They have little place in Scouting.

I wear brightly colored shirts in the backcountry.  Easier for rescue helicopter folks to find me.

Be Prepared.

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Let me be very plain - were the adults in question "Scoutmasters" or "Assistant Scoutmasters" and were they Scouters in your son's troop?  

Assuming they were either SM or ASM and a member of your son's troop, I'd talk with the COR, CC and/or the SM about your concerns one on one if possible.

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7 minutes ago, Cecille25 said:

The scout masters wanted to prohibit my child from participating at the camporee events and were going to force him to sit at the camp site all day. They told him”why can’t you be normal” and their behavior caused other scouts to behave poorly towards him.  For 45 min this man humiliated him in front of the other boys. He’s a 12 year old kid.   The prior incident this person got into the face of the SPL and was forcing the issue as to not wear a pink shirt. Tonight they want to essentially put me on trial as if I did something wrong.  

That’s how it should be. just a fun thing. Pink socks rock!

Find another troop.  Your son's friends can follow along. The Scoutmaster's (maybe plural?) behavior is abhorrent and inexcusable.

Praise in public; criticize in private (though 2 deep leadership).

There is NO REASON your son or you should have to put up with this.

"Punishment" has NO place in Scouting.

 

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I'm going to agree that, on it's face, this wasn't really a YP violation.  It may well have been a "Bad Scoutmaster " situation, but not a Youth Protection violation.  A single incidence of being mean or rude or unkind isn't  "Bullying", it's just being unpleasant. 

Telling your son "that shirt isn't appropriate for the activity and you need to change" is likewise not bullying. 

If the Scoutmaster encouraged the other boys to then be unkind to your son, that WOULD be bullying, but if the other boys were just pissed at your son for taking up 45 minutes of their time over not changing his shirt, that is not bullying.

Frankly,  the Committee Chair and maybe COR is exactly where this issue "as presented" should probably be dealt with, but I'm not faulting you for filing a report with the SE either.  And while I don't think you should be asked to sit in a meeting for 30 minutes of grilling, it would be entirely appropriate for you to sit with the key committee members and the COR (not all the assorted parents) for a conversation about what happened.

And as a side note, what "Class B" is for your Troop is pretty much up to the Troop Committee or maybe PLC depending on how the troop handles it.  That description of what a Class B uniform is doesn't mean a scout gets to pick ANY scouting related Tshirt to wear.  The whole point of a Class B uniform is to wear something more comfortable than the field uniform (Class A) but something that still distinguishes and identifies them as a group.  In other words, the point is for them to look the same.

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15 minutes ago, elitts said:

If the Scoutmaster encouraged the other boys to then be unkind to your son, that WOULD be bullying, but if the other boys were just pissed at your son for taking up 45 minutes of their time over not changing his shirt, that is not bullying.

I'd argue its the SM/ASM that took up the 45 minutes of the time over a shirt.

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I'm kinda disturbed by the attitude displayed here that bullying is not a reportable incident. Handling stuff like this on the quiet is a big part of what has led to the BSA's current legal trouble.

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45 minutes ago, acco40 said:

Let me be very plain - were the adults in question "Scoutmasters" or "Assistant Scoutmasters" and were they Scouters in your son's troop?  

Does it matter?

 

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The shirt has the same logo as all the other shirts. The scouts wear all versions of the shirt and they at times just wear BSA t-shirts. As per YPT you are never to intimidate, isolate, humiliate a scout. The scoutmaster and assistant both did this to a 12 year old over the color pink. YPT handbook wants you to report bad behavior.  But the report is also to be confidential. The committee does not have a copy of the report but tried to tell me that I needed to send them a copy of it as per council. But council told me they have no knowledge of sharing the information nor speaking to her. My son is SPL and at the incident corrected the scoutmaster on YPT rules on uniform while being accompanied by a Camp master.   No matter what an adult has no right in any circumstance  to speak to a child in that way, and use his power to intimidate and frighten. 

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Bullying-What_is_Bullying.pdf (scouting.org)

Reporting_Bullying.pdf (scouting.org)

Myths About Bullying (scouting.org)

This is how BSA defines bullying and how to report it.  

  • An Imbalance of Power: --> yes, if it was from an adult, there is a clear imbalance of power
  • Repetition --> Not clear.  It sounds like it may be repeated.  To me, that is the big difference between bullying and just someone being a bit of a jerk.

Given what you said, it probably warrants reporting to SE for an investigation to get the full story .. especially if this SM/ASM has been reported in the past by other scouts.  

It is hard to give much other guidance as it really does require someone talking to all involved.  

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28 minutes ago, elitts said:

If the Scoutmaster encouraged the other boys to then be unkind to your son, that WOULD be bullying, but if the other boys were just pissed at your son for taking up 45 minutes of their time over not changing his shirt, that is not bullying.

Then the SM should have intervened.

There is NO excuse in Scouting for unkind behavior.

A Scout is Kind.

No matter what.

AND, the words and actions of ADULTS are magnified in their importance many times just because they are adults.

Some time ago parents of a scout, and the scout, appeared at a troop meeting to "interview" our troop. The dad had all sorts of negative comments about our adult leaders and even scouts in our Troop. (Seriously? You come asking for a place of refuge and criticize a successful, going concern?) I made plain that nothing in the troop would change and I never heard another word from them.

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