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T216

should alcohol use affect advancement

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Obviously I shouldn't post in the wee hours of the morning, because in reviewing the thread and my response, I want to clarify:

 

1. In some states there is an underage drinking exception for religious ceremonies. However, since this case involves beer, I can't imagine what religious ceremony might be involved. (Octoberfest?)

2. In some states, parents can consent to an underage consumption and service of alcohol. Some states require that the consumption be in the presence of the parent, and since this involves some "partying", I would question whether the parents were actually witness to the consumption.

3. Really the legality doesn't matter in this case. The troop pledge signed by the scout and his parents is controlling. If you don't enforce the pledge, then don't expect the boys to listen or believe anything else you say to them on any topic. If you don't enforce your troop pledge now, equal application and consistency in enforcement will become impossible in the future. i.e, would maijuanna use block advancement, how about DUI, what if they just have a statutory rape problem? what if one is a misdemeanor and one a felony?

On a personal note, my husband and I once sat at a wedding where parents insisted that their 16 year old son be served champagne and wine. (With parental permission it was a legal request in the state.) It was surreal because the child had already been in residential treatment for drug abuse. When the waitress balked at serving a minor, my husband and I (both lawyers) were consulted about the legality of the underage drinking. We had to say it was legal, but we expressed strong opposition to the use of the alcohol by underage children, especially those with a dependency problem. We were nicely told to mind our own business, after all these were "nice parents from a good neighborhood, who otherwise had good parenting skills. The boy had just been experimenting with drugs and gotten into a little problem...After all, haven't we all done something stupid as kids?" It's now 5 years later and the boy has been dead for some time...alcohol and drug abuse.

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While we have moronic parenting going on, it seems the underage drinking is occurring outside of Scouting. Therefore, getting the SE involved is not appropriate and the G2SS & YP don't apply to ones home life. These two documents are written for Scouting.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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I agree that BW and John-in-KC are correct.

 

I distinctly remember where the question is asked (on the YP video presentation) by an audience member (para-phrased here), "What do we do if are pretty sure something is wrong, but we do not have first hand evidence of it in our own interaction with the youth?"

 

The answer was that we don't need "proof" of first hand information. We do not become the investigator. We turn the concern over to our SE, who contacts the authorities.

 

In the state where I currently live, I am aware that in most youth organizations it is mandatory that adult volunteers (or employees) take that organization's youth protection (my label) training. I did this in our youth soccer program, and also as an employee of the school district. They all insist that if we see or hear of anything that is unsafe, illegal, involving that youth, we are to report it. Some trainings tell you to go through the organization's head individual, others have you inform the head individual, and then you report it to child protection services. This is a serious responsiblity. If I knew of a youth who was drinking alcohol and did not report it (in my state), I could lose my job with the school district. If that youth was involved in a vehicular accident while under the influence of alcohol (of other illegal substance), I could be considered part of the problem for not previously reporting it. We live in a litigious society where we must protect people from their choices. Also, I would personally feel responsible for not attempting to let the authorities know (if I didn't report that problem/concern with or without direct knowledge of the problem) and there was an accident.

 

 

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Sorry scouter-mom, I think your post illustrates the problems of nanny statism that tries to make everyone responsible for reporting people to public authorities.

 

I continue to suggest that the Scout be asked to report on the legality and possible consequences of underage drinking and that he then be trusted to make a wise decision about his future behavior.

 

 

 

Seattle Pioneer

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Ed says

"While we have moronic parenting going on, it seems the underage drinking is occurring outside of Scouting. Therefore, getting the SE involved is not appropriate and the G2SS & YP don't apply to ones home life. These two documents are written for Scouting."

 

It is not for us to determine abuse. If it is in question, we are to report it to the SE who in turn will get the necessary authorities involved to conduct an investigation.

 

Because it's not happening at Scouts doesn't exclude it from being a YP issue and therefore, it is our responsibility to report it. If you find evidence that a child is being physically abused at home, do you ignore it because "it didn't happen at Scouts"? No. You must report it. You are responsible to report any abuse by any person that might be occurring to one of your Scouts, at Scouts, home, school, church, etc. It might just be a suspicion. It does not matter.

 

T216 is hung up on the issue that these are "good people". Good people still do dumb things. Sometimes they even do illegal things. We have systems in place to make these determinations. Get over it and fulfill your responsibility. Yeah, it might not feel right because of your doubts. Those doubts come from being too personally involved. Bring in the SE who is not personally involved and let him make the determination.

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Seattle Pioneer: I had exactly the same reaction. We just have to use our heads sometimes.

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rkfrance,

Physical abuse & underage drinking are two completely different things. If I suspected a Scout was being abused at home, I would notify the proper authorities. If I suspect a Scout was drinking underage, I would sit him down & talk about it. Reporting this to the SE is not the correct thing to do. Even if I was to report it, the SE is definitely not the person I would contact! He/She has nothing to do with it since this is occurring outside of Scouts.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Obviously, several of us disagree on what constitutes abuse of a minor child.

 

To those who think underage drinking is not abuse,

 

You have to make your own peace in your heart. You are the one who has to look yourself in the eye, and respect the person you see. I trust you will be able to do that should ever a young man in your mentorship as SM, ASM, CC, MC, or Advisor be killed in a DUI wreck where he was the one DUI ... and you knew he was drinking under age.

 

YIS

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While I agree there is a problem, the only thing it has to do with Scouts is whether this kid is Eagle material.

 

Reporting something that is happening outside of Scouts to the SE is not the was to go. It would be the same as someone telling your boss you had a subscription to Playboy. Not relevant!

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Most of the youth who do drink seem to have figured out that it's a "Don't ask, don't tell" kind of thing with the authorities.

 

Here's a site with some interesting statistics: http://www.health.org/govpubs/rpo990/

So 40% of 10th graders are drinking once a month. And 89% say alcohol is readily available to them. So 40% of kids are being abused and should be reported to the authorities? Or should it just be the ones who are going to admit it?

 

Oak Tree

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I think we may have evidence of a cultural divide here. I think in the Southern factory town where I grew up, news that a 15-year-old had had a few beers and that his parents weren't upset about it, would not have caused a great deal of concern. The idea that anybody would report such parents as abusive would have been inconceivable (and continues to seem bizarre to me). I'm not sure whether the contrary point of view comes from an ultra-liberal MADD-influenced environment, or from an ultra-conservative teetotalling religious fundamentalist environment (or maybe both). Again I ask: is there an ethnic or socioeconomic difference between the family of the beer-drinking boy and the families of the people who are concerned about it?

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Well, my demographics are:

 

Boomer ... 1956.

 

Grew up in Los Angeles of Democratic parents. Lost a good friend to his DWI on the Ventura Freeway at the end of my 10th grade year (he was 3 days from graduating High School).

 

Now live in Kansas City.

 

Am Missouri Synod Lutheran by denomination: Ein Bier, Bitte!!! (in other words we are not teetotalers).

 

Registered Republican in the 1984 presidential election ... WALTER MONDALE??? President???? Am staill a registered Republican (Condi Rice for Prez in 08!) and believe fully in MADD.

 

Now that I've skewed Hunt's curve, anyone else care to bust the balloon?

 

YIS

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Some posts keep commenting that the drinking was "outside" of scouting and therefore shouldn't impact advancement to Eagle. This ignores the pledge that the scout signed which said he would be alcohol free. While the drinking did not take place on or at a Scout event, the drinking definately was "taking place within scouting" when he broke his pledge. This situation is analogous to the high school athlete that knows he can't drink and still play football on Friday night. If the kid drinks and the coach hears about it, he doesn't play.

 

I would say that if this scout choses beer over being an Eagle Scout, he is probably already developing a drinking problem.

 

 

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