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8 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

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.  

If an SE does anything, I'd be surprised.

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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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6 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

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.  

Yes you are correct. This has been repeated behavior. I’m just confused as to what to do next. First offense was reported to chairperson and Executive. They decided to give a warning. Second offense was reported via hotline and they were told that he was scared of retaliation by SM at the coming campout. Third offense was reported to national and they sent report to district council who has NOT given information to the committee chair.  Even in the new Ethics training for the new Citizenship in Society they tell you that any sort of bullying will not be tolerated and should be reported.  But will it go anywhere.  Do the scouts and parents actually have protections? 

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Definitely a YP issue as discussed.  IF the tale is accurate, it appears some individual has a problem with the color pink worn by a male.  And that is very biased, or worse; IMHO.  One way of course would be to ask the whole troop to wear a pink shirt; but not sure that would do anything but annoy someone.  Still, it might help the young lad too, especially if the other troop members show their support somehow.

Years ago, we had an 11 year old that was always in sine conflict with other youth, both at scouts and with peers in school and neighborhood.  He had a really difficult time as he was very small and had two sisters that drove him crazy at home and he was the one in trouble.  Also a domineering father.  Anyway, he had ridden his bike to the meeting and got into it again and chose to go home.  It was not dark, and his parents allowed him to ride, so I told him okay, but we would check to see he got home okay.

We have a large hall in the church that we used for games, and we were up there near the meeting end.  Here comes the boy with his bike, covered with egg and dirt.  He had been jumped in the school yard next door; not hurt physically, just made a mess of.  Well, the rest of the troop had to be restrained from running to the school to find those responsible, because he was part of the troop.  That was a turning point for him.  While he never bade it past FC, he stayed involved into JC.  He is now a father with a GS and Cub and retired from the Army.  Scouting works.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Cecille25 said:

I’m just confused as to what to do next.

I would shop for a new troop, if that's at all an option. Its not the perfect option, but a SM and CC backing said SM regarding bullying is something to get away from regardless of what happens to the SM within scouting.

 

4 minutes ago, skeptic said:

IF the tale is accurate, it appears some individual has a problem with the color pink worn by a male.  And that is very biased, or worse; IMHO. 

It looks to be a troop issued shirt if I understand the situation correctly. Which makes it all the worse for the SM's opinion.

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2 minutes ago, skeptic said:

Definitely a YP issue as discussed.  IF the tale is accurate, it appears some individual has a problem with the color pink worn by a male.  And that is very biased, or worse; IMHO.  One way of course would be to ask the whole troop to wear a pink shirt; but not sure that would do anything but annoy someone.  Still, it might help the young lad too, especially if the other troop members show their support somehow.

Years ago, we had an 11 year old that was always in sine conflict with other youth, both at scouts and with peers in school and neighborhood.  He had a really difficult time as he was very small and had two sisters that drove him crazy at home and he was the one in trouble.  Also a domineering father.  Anyway, he had ridden his bike to the meeting and got into it again and chose to go home.  It was not dark, and his parents allowed him to ride, so I told him okay, but we would check to see he got home okay.

We have a large hall in the church that we used for games, and we were up there near the meeting end.  Here comes the boy with his bike, covered with egg and dirt.  He had been jumped in the school yard next door; not hurt physically, just made a mess of.  Well, the rest of the troop had to be restrained from running to the school to find those responsible, because he was part of the troop.  That was a turning point for him.  While he never bade it past FC, he stayed involved into JC.  He is now a father with a GS and Cub and retired from the Army.  Scouting works.

 

 

My son had a purple shirt the day prior with not problem. The following morning he put on the pink shirt. That caused the SM to become irrational and a bully teamed up by the ASM who mocked my son in his responses.  I just don’t know how far up the line I have to go and who will protect me from the “trial” they are wanting to hold tonight exposing my children to the entire committee and parents. A YPT report is supposed to be confidential. 

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2 minutes ago, malraux said:

I would shop for a new troop, if that's at all an option. Its not the perfect option, but a SM and CC backing said SM regarding bullying is something to get away from regardless of what happens to the SM within scouting.

 

It looks to be a troop issued shirt if I understand the situation correctly. Which makes it all the worse for the SM's opinion.

Correct its a troop shirt. Just pink. They have the same shirt in blue, navy, purple, white, yellow, green…. all colors. 

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46 minutes ago, Cecille25 said:

My son had a purple shirt the day prior with not problem. The following morning he put on the pink shirt. That caused the SM to become irrational and a bully teamed up by the ASM who mocked my son in his responses.  I just don’t know how far up the line I have to go and who will protect me from the “trial” they are wanting to hold tonight exposing my children to the entire committee and parents. A YPT report is supposed to be confidential. 

I don't understand why you are considering attending this as described. The process you are outlining seems highly inappropriate. I would stipulate what you and your scouts need the process to be in order to be comfortable with confidentiality and possible exposure to yet more bullying or berating behavior on the part of the SM/ASM. There is no need for all troop members to be present, nor for your scouts to have to confront the SM who bullied them. If those changes can't accommodated by tonight, then say it needs to be postponed. I would feel free to request whoever else you want in the room and for what portions. I would only do this though if you are committed to remaining in that troop. I think the advice elsewhere to leave was good.  

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12 minutes ago, yknot said:

I don't understand why you are considering attending this as described. The process you are outlining seems highly inappropriate. I would stipulate what you and your scouts need the process to be in order to be comfortable with confidentiality and possible exposure to yet more bullying or berating behavior on the part of the SM/ASM. There is no need for all troop members to be present, nor for your scouts to have to confront the SM who bullied them. If those changes can't accommodated by tonight, then say it needs to be postponed. I would feel free to request whoever else you want in the room and for what portions. I would only do this though if you are committed to remaining in that troop. I think the advice elsewhere to leave was good.  

Oh, I am not attending the meeting. It is just a witch hunt. I contacted the national help line and they said that the incident information is confidential since it concerns a youth. What she is doing is wrong and to contact my local Executive. We did and he gave us the brush off and said he’s not listening to anything nor acknowledging our emails. We went above him and he refused to speak to us. So I now emailed the help line with help on the matter. Unfortunately I think it will come down to us leaving a this corrupt troop. It is just sooo frustrating that if an organization has in place measures to prevent and report such matters it should take it seriously and not brush it off. That bad behavior is celebrated and they have no regard for the kid. 

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2 hours ago, elitts said:

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. 

I am pretty much in agreement with most of what I see you post, both as a moderator and in general, but this time I would have to disagree.  Based on the totality of what the OP has said this instance does very much rise to bullying behavior, especially since this individual seems to have been reported for similar 'bad behavior at least three times.  In addition to an imbalance of power having already been mentioned one of the other criteria to classify bullying is that it is repeated behavior.  That repeated behavior does not have to involve the same target.  The bully can target several individuals at different times, it is still bullying.

There should be zero tolerance for one adult to treat a child as described, let alone two adults.

As for it being a youth protection violation, bullying is very much a part of youth protection.  As a matter of fact, there is a two page fact sheet on bullying included in the YPT section at scouting.org.  Part of that fact sheet states the following:  Contact your Scout’s unit leader or the council Scout executive.  It also states:  Expect the bullying to stop. Talk regularly with your Scout and with Scouting leaders to make sure it has stopped. If the bullying persists, contact the council Scout executive; and If Scout leaders are not keeping your Scout safe from being bullied, contact your local Scout executive. If your Scout executive is not available, contact the Scouts First Helpline at 1-844- SCOUTS1 (1-844-726-8871)

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@Cecille25

To be clear

  • Your son was at the camporee with his troop
  • He was wearing a troop shirt that was pink
  • This troop shirt is from the same troop he (your son) is a member of at this time
  • The SM and ASM for the troop (your son's troop) harassed him for wearing a pink troop shirt
  • The adults involved are the SM and ASM for the troop that produced the pink shirt
  • Everyone involved is in the same troop (your son's troop)
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25 minutes ago, Cecille25 said:

Oh, I am not attending the meeting. It is just a witch hunt. I contacted the national help line and they said that the incident information is confidential since it concerns a youth. What she is doing is wrong and to contact my local Executive. We did and he gave us the brush off and said he’s not listening to anything nor acknowledging our emails. We went above him and he refused to speak to us. So I now emailed the help line with help on the matter. Unfortunately I think it will come down to us leaving a this corrupt troop. It is just sooo frustrating that if an organization has in place measures to prevent and report such matters it should take it seriously and not brush it off. That bad behavior is celebrated and they have no regard for the kid. 

I would highly recommend using beascout.org to find a new troop in your area.

Curious as to who may have said "he is not listening to anything" when it comes to an adult treating a child like this.  (no names please)   Was it the Council Scout Executive or your local District Executive?  If it was the District Executive I would check the council website and look at the contact information for council staff and escalate.  I would be concerned about adults who feel that is appropriate behavior continuing to work with children.

I can also assure you that your son was not the only one wearing a pink shirt at that event, I saw quite a few Scouts from other units in various shades of pink.  It is obviously a shirt that was obtained from the troop, so any color that they made available should have been acceptable to the SM/ASM.  This evidently upset your son enough to cause him to seek assistance in the health lodge.  If an adult upset my Scout to that extent we would have made the decision to leave that unit without hesitation.

Edited by MikeS72
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1 hour ago, MikeS72 said:

I would highly recommend using beascout.org to find a new troop in your area.

Curious as to who may have said "he is not listening to anything" when it comes to an adult treating a child like this.  (no names please)   Was it the Council Scout Executive or your local District Executive?  If it was the District Executive I would check the council website and look at the contact information for council staff and escalate.  I would be concerned about adults who feel that is appropriate behavior continuing to work with children.

I can also assure you that your son was not the only one wearing a pink shirt at that event, I saw quite a few Scouts from other units in various shades of pink.  It is obviously a shirt that was obtained from the troop, so any color that they made available should have been acceptable to the SM/ASM.  This evidently upset your son enough to cause him to seek assistance in the health lodge.  If an adult upset my Scout to that extent we would have made the decision to leave that unit without hesitation.

Yes. After today my son’s have decided to go to another troop. Its sad. My son has been SPL for 6 elections and no one has wanted the responsibility. To answer your question it was both the Scout Executive and District Executive that gave us the brush off. 

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35 minutes ago, qwazse said:

Okay. It’s not about the shirt. It’s not about the troop uniform. It’s about the SM being mean (again) and preventing the SPL to make decisions on uniforming and uniform inspection.

This is triggering on two levels:

  • I reported to others about a teacher in my middle school teacher turning out to be a pedophile. He otherwise a nice guy to us — and that got into an extended debate about if I was a victim of grooming. Well he wasn’t nice to all of us. He was downright mean to a friend. And, from my child’s perspective, my friend was a jerk. My friend kinda knew it, and intentionally did whatever he could to set off this guy’s fuse. But, when word got out, my friend was incredulous about the accusations until a mutual friend of one of the victims told us it was legit. Life Lesson: men and women who are downright mean to one kid might have something to hide involving other kids.
  • One of the abuse survivors who took the time to tell us on his story on this forum told us about how his SM was super meticulous… to the point of bringing a ruler to measure patch placement on uniforms. That struck a nerve with me because I had a stickler of an SM when it came to language or bad behavior, but when it came to uniforms, he gave the inspection sheets to the SPL, whose responsibility was to read it and rate us. If my old-school-as-it-got SM was not inserting himself into the nitty-gritty of uniform inspection, nobody’s SM should have been.  It’s now on my list of red flags.

Finally, I have done things wrongly by my scouts and venturers. I told them I did, apologized, and promised to do better next time. I walked the problem through with seasoned scouters. I improved. You should expect that from a good SM.

You did the right thing to report. You do need to stick to your guns. You clearly don’t owe anything to that CC or CoR and you just voted with your feet.

Let your SE know that that troop needs to do better, and you think that that volunteer should be ineligible.

It is important to say that maybe, just maybe, we don't have the complete story here.  If I were the COR or SE, I'd like to hear from about three or four more people to hone in on "the facts of the case" before forming any judgements about the situation.

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8 hours ago, Jameson76 said:

@Cecille25

To be clear

  • Your son was at the camporee with his troop
  • He was wearing a troop shirt that was pink
  • This troop shirt is from the same troop he (your son) is a member of at this time
  • The SM and ASM for the troop (your son's troop) harassed him for wearing a pink troop shirt
  • The adults involved are the SM and ASM for the troop that produced the pink shirt
  • Everyone involved is in the same troop (your son's troop)

correct. The SM just was against the pink troop shirt. Same color used by the old SM. Just the new SM is anti pink. The only time they try to all match is when they go to Woodruff and they wear a neon yellow. But that is not always the rule. 

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I just want to make it clear that I never said, nor do I think, that the behavior the OP has described is acceptable.  If I were the CC or COR and I became aware of an incident like this it would take an other-wise sterling record, a completely repentant attitude and some serious consideration before I considered anything besides booting the SM from his/her position if not the troop.  I just

 

10 hours ago, malraux said:

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.

Bullying is certainly reportable, all I said is that not all instances of someone being mean is "bullying", regardless of whether or not there is a power imbalance.

 

10 hours ago, SiouxRanger said:

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.

 

It really depends on what "behaved poorly towards him" actually means.  Just didn't want to hang out with him?  Told him to go away?  Started calling him names?  I have to think, given the topic, if the kids had actually been openly hostile, the OP would have mentioned it.  Expecting kids to maintain an emotional calm at all times in order to be perfectly kind is ridiculous.  If there was some kind of big blow up between some kids on a camp-out, I'm not going to bat an eye if the groups involved want to avoid each other for an hour or two until their feelings settle down.  Of course if it goes on for an extended period of time or if one side or the other starts trying to entice others to ostracize people, it's a different story.

8 hours ago, MikeS72 said:

I am pretty much in agreement with most of what I see you post, both as a moderator and in general, but this time I would have to disagree.  Based on the totality of what the OP has said this instance does very much rise to bullying behavior, especially since this individual seems to have been reported for similar 'bad behavior at least three times.  In addition to an imbalance of power having already been mentioned one of the other criteria to classify bullying is that it is repeated behavior.  That repeated behavior does not have to involve the same target.  The bully can target several individuals at different times, it is still bullying.

There should be zero tolerance for one adult to treat a child as described, let alone two adults.

As for it being a youth protection violation, bullying is very much a part of youth protection.  As a matter of fact, there is a two page fact sheet on bullying included in the YPT section at scouting.org.  Part of that fact sheet states the following:  Contact your Scout’s unit leader or the council Scout executive.  It also states:  Expect the bullying to stop. Talk regularly with your Scout and with Scouting leaders to make sure it has stopped. If the bullying persists, contact the council Scout executive; and If Scout leaders are not keeping your Scout safe from being bullied, contact your local Scout executive. If your Scout executive is not available, contact the Scouts First Helpline at 1-844- SCOUTS1 (1-844-726-8871)

Well, I started my post when there were only about 4 comments.  There's been a whole lot of additional information OP has tacked on since then that makes the situation look like the SM is a significant problem with a history of abusive behavior over the pink shirt thing.  But I still think it's reasonable for the core Committee to ask the OP and maybe scout to come in discuss the situation.  (though not with a large group of parents and maybe not with the SM)  But to be clear, it should be to discuss the incident, not the report to the Council.

As far as the whole "repeated behavior" thing, well that one is trickier.  In this case, if the SM has been reported 3 times (I'm going to assume by different people and not OP) for harassing people wearing pink, I think it starts to be pretty clear the guy has a homophobic issue with the color pink and he's bullying anyone that violates his standards of masculinity.  But I'm always going to be hesitant about claims of bullying for single incidents happening to different people unless there's a clear unifying factor (as in this case) or a significant pattern of recurrence.

 

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