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hereajo

Behavior That Warrents Expulsion from Troop?

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"I would bet that the adult leaders in the Troop are not BSA trained or not trained well."

 

There is little or nothing in BSA trainings about administering discipline or how to handle a bully. Perhaps there should be.

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There is little or nothing in BSA trainings about administering discipline or how to handle a bully. Perhaps there should be.

 

No need to have training on it. The discipline should fit the crime & a bully should be suspended or expelled from the Troop. What we don't need is more wishy-washy BSA regs that don't really deal with the problem! What we need is adult leaders to be adult leaders & not tolerate this type of behavior.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Ed you posted:

"No need to have training on it. The discipline should fit the crime & a bully should be suspended or expelled from the Troop. What we don't need is more wishy-washy BSA regs that don't really deal with the problem! What we need is adult leaders to be adult leaders & not tolerate this type of behavior"

I think this posting only goes to show the need for training!!

Please read

http://www.scouting.org/nav/enter.jsp?s=xx&c=ds&terms=Youth+Protection+Training&x=13&y=13

It states:

The unit committee should review repetitive or serious incidents of misbehavior in consultation with the parents of the child to determine a course of corrective action including possible revocation of the youth's membership in the unit.

 

As for the SE the guide states:

The unit should inform the Scout executive about all incidents that result in a physical injury or involve allegations of sexual misconduct by a youth member with another youth member.

 

It doesn't say that he will or has to take any action.

I read this as the ball being with The unit committee.

Eamonn.

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Ya can't teach common sense. All the BSA needs to have in writing is "No bullying allowed". No need to give an explanation for bullying or what happens if there is a bully. Let the unit deal with that when it happens. In this case, the Scout should be suspended or expelled from the Troop. In the Troop Committee doesn't agree, then there is a real problem with the committee.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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UPDATE: I am the Charter Org Rep and the father of the victim. I was placed in an exremely difficult position. I reported the incident per my oath as a scout leader to or charter org executive, senior pastor who unfortunatley is very new to scouting. I excused myself from admimistering punishment (Although the district commisioner said I had the autoriity to do so when I met with him, the DE, and the OA chapter guide this evening). I was counting on my senior pastor to recommend a harsher penalty than what the committee chair administered (A verbal warning that this was his first reported offense and this behavior will not be tolerated.

As I said I met with the district commissoner, district executive and OA Chapter Guide. My goal was to help my charter org try to salvage the troop by involving the district in retraining the adult leadership and fostering a "safe haven" enviroment that has zero tolerance for bad behavior. I would like to thank you for providing this forum as your input. It has supported our stand to make noise and helped us with making clear good BSA decisions.

 

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hereajo

I really am very sad that your son was hurt or harmed in any way. No Lad joins the Boy Scouts to get hurt and while at times some of the adults don't get "It" right,I like to believe that we are involved because we know each and every member is special and we can help them along the right path.

I can understand where you are coming from when you say:

"I excused myself from administering punishment .."

However I can't agree with you.

I can't help but feel you passed the buck.

You are the COR.

It is your job to act in the best interests of both the CO and the Scout unit.

The following piece came from the staff of the Truman Presidential Library. It tells the origin of the phrase: "The Buck Stops Here". I thought you would like it.

 

The sign "The Buck Stops Here" that was on President Truman's desk in his White House office was made in the Federal Reformatory at El Reno, Oklahoma. Fred M. Canfil, then United States Marshal for the Western District of Missouri and a friend of Mr. Truman, saw a similar sign while visiting the Reformatory and asked the Warden if a sign like it could be made for President Truman. The sign was made and mailed to President on October 2, 1945. Approximately 2-1/2" x 13" in size and mounted on walnut base, the painted glass sign has the words "I'm From Missouri" on the reverse side. It appeared at different times on his desk until late in his administration.

 

The saying "the buck stops here" derives from the slang expression "pass the buck" which means passing the responsibility on to someone else. The latter expression is said to have originated with the game of poker, in which a marker or counter, frequently in frontier days a knife with a buckhorn handle, was used to indicate the person whose turn it was to deal. If the player did not wish to deal he could pass the responsibility by passing the "buck," as the counter came to be called, to the next player.(1)

 

On more than one occasion President Truman referred to the desk sign in public statements. For example, in an address at the National War College on December 19, 1952, Mr. Truman said, "You know, it's easy for the Monday morning quarterback to say what the coach should have done, after the game is over. But when the decision is up before you -- and on my desk I have a motto which says 'The Buck Stops Here' -- the decision has to be made." In his farewell address to the American people given in January 1953, President Truman referred to this concept very specifically in asserting that, "The President -- whoever he is -- has to decide. He can't pass the buck to anybody. No one else can do the deciding for him. That's his job.

 

The sign has been displayed at the Library since 1957.

 

As I have said I don't agree with your decision.

But I do think once you did you were and are duty bound to go with the decision that was made.

It seems to me that you are trying to be a Monday morning quarterback!!

While your goal of "fostering a "safe haven" environment that has zero tolerance for bad behavior" sounds great, I'm sorry to say that I don't have as much faith as you do.

I can't help thinking about Luke 2:42-51.

While we now know why he was in the temple, I can't help wondering what Mary and Joseph were thinking while they spend 3 days looking for Jesus?

Son, why have you treated us this way? Behold, your father and I were anxiously looking for you. I can't help thinking that this doesn't fall in line with zero tolerance for bad behavior".

Eamonn.

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In the greatest sense Ed is correct. There is no training needed for this type of situation.

 

Anyone worthy of working with kids as part of a youth organization should have had the wherewithal to show leadership in this situation.

 

I am personally astounded that no immediate disciplinary action was taken by anyone. AND I still do not see that the Scout Executive was contacted. I see COR, DC, CC, OA, but not the Scout Executive or even local law enforcement.

 

This troop is like FEMA, functioning with a complete lack of leadership!

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Hereajo,

 

Probably the last three things you need right now are:

 

1) A lecture on the origin of the saying The buck stops here

 

2) Being told you passed the buck and that you are trying to be a Monday morning quarterback

 

3) Being told you didnt pass the buck far enough

 

You clearly are trying hard to deal with this difficult situation.

 

Pick and choose from the many above posts for as much helpful information as you can glean. Keep talking with people you know and trust about the many wonderful opportunities there are available in scouting. Continue doing the best you can for your son and your family.

 

Have fun scouting.

 

 

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It's common practice for people in positions of authority to recuse themselves in matters in which they may appear to have a conflict of interest that could make them appear biased. I think hereajo did the right thing by recusing himself in this situation.

 

But given that the troop appears to be a little bit wild, there should be plenty of other opportunities for the COR to step in and correct things. You certainly can override troop policy. The troop, in fact, promises to follow your policies.

 

Oak Tree

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Gotta agree with FScouter, here, Ed. Very few parents have any prior experience with an institutional response to bullying behavior. Many adults are also not comfortable with the kind of confrontation that requires. If they've been good parents up 'til now, they've probably never imagined a kid actin' like this. Trainin' to help folks deal with and manage kid behaviors of all kinds should be a central part of BSA leader training, but it's almost completely absent.

 

Hearajo, I'm with Oak. Stepping aside on this one was an honorable thing to do because of the apparent conflict. But now, you and the Institution Head have a job to do. You need to go find some new committee members. Since BSA training doesn't cover this, you need to find some people who have experience with this stuff already - teachers, experienced scouters from the district, nurses, former scouts, parents of former scouts, parish youth ministers, etc.

 

Da BSA and SE and such have no real dog in this fight. Gettin' your youth program on track is the job of the CO. And your new committee is going to have to leave some bodies on the ground before you get this thing back under control.

 

 

 

 

 

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Normally I would suggest that when the Charter Organizations Representative's children leaves the Charter Orgs troop for a new one, it would serve as a wake up call to the committee - but I really doubt that's going to be the case here.

 

Hereajo, I commend your actions and judgement in this so far. Now I wonder if it's time to step away as the Charter Org Representative and turn the responsibility over to someone else. With your sons no longer in the unit (if indeed that's still the case) and considering the seriousness of the offense, I wonder if the committee will see your involvement as a help or as "being out to get the troop" (we all know too well, unfortunately, how some people see these things).

 

If I were faced with this now, I believe that I would meet with the senior pastor and church committee (assuming you have a lay committee that runs the church) as Charter Organization Rep, lay out the issue once again (with no personal emotion), speak about the liability that church could face, even if only from a publicity standpoint, should something like this occur and escalate even worse, then respectfully resign from this position making clear that the reason for doing so is to limit personal liability risk. If you have any lawyers on your church committee, my hunch is that they'll get it right away. Sure, a court may find the church and its org rep not liable in a lawsuit, but the fact is you could get sued for something like this - and now that you've already had an incident like this with this lad, the risk increases - in this world, risk management is part of the process we now go through, and this risk doesn't seem to be being managed well.

 

CalicoPenn

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"... resign from this position making clear that the reason for doing so is to limit personal liability risk."

"... recuse themselves in matters in which they may appear to have a conflict of interest"

 

I'm not a lawyer and don't understand this at all. Or maybe I just can't read between the lines. Would someone please explain this line of thinking?

What is the liability risk?

Who is going to sue who, and for what damage?

What benefit will result from anyone resigning?

How does stepping aside help fix this bullying problem?

 

 

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Since I brought it up, seems only right I try to explain my thinking. Consider the following scenario. You've gone through this incident, and took a "boys will be boys" attitude with no real action. Now let's say a boy joins the troop, and becomes a new target for this bully. At a campout, this bully pulls out an airsoft gun again, points it at the new kid, pulls the trigger, and hits him square in the eye, causing serious injury.

 

The parents of the boy who was injured discovers that there was an earlier incident with the bully involving an airsoft gun and that the troop leaders, BSA Council, charter org rep, and charter organization did nothing to prevent a recurrence and decide to sue. Typically in these cases, the plaintiffs cast a wide net and the courts narrow the scope of the net. More than likely in most cases, the charter org rep, troop leaders not directly involved, and the charter org will be removed from the case by the court. In this particular scenario, because all of the above had prior knowledge, the courts will likely agree that all may share some liability in such a case and not remove anyone from the case - that's the personal liability one now faces - and even if eventually you may be personally exonerated, the court costs, time, and stress involved will take its toll.

 

Most times, I wouldn't worry about whether someone could sue me or not. But from reading about this particular case, I would remove myself as far as possible from any future liability.

 

CalicoPenn

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CalicoPenn,

 

That is why BSA carries primary liability insurance protecting the Chartered Partner, that IF something happens, the chartered partner is protected from direct exposure.

 

That is why WE, as LEADERS, are charged to make use of the trip planning tools and the TOUR PERMIT process given us by the BSA.

 

That is why the use of a handgun is forbidden by G2SS to members of the Boy Scouting program.

 

There is a point where the Scoutmaster has to make a tough call on bullying and have a talk with his SE. To quote G2SS:

http://www.scouting.org/nav/enter.jsp?s=ba

 

 

Member Responsibilities

 

All members of the Boy Scouts of America are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the principles set forth in the Scout Oath and Law. Physical violence, hazing, bullying, theft, verbal insults, and drugs and alcohol have no place in the Scouting program and may result in the revocation of a Scout's membership in the unit.

 

If confronted by threats of violence or other forms of bullying from other youth members, Scouts should seek help from their unit leaders or parents.

 

As always, MANDATORY POLICY of BSA is in boldface.

 

Continuing, let's look at adult responsibilities:

 

"Unit Responsibilities

 

"Adult leaders of Scouting units are responsible for monitoring the behavior of youth members and interceding when necessary. Parents of youth members who misbehave should be informed and asked for assistance in dealing with it.

 

"The BSA does not permit the use of corporal punishment by unit leaders when disciplining youth members.

 

"The unit committee should review repetitive or serious incidents of misbehavior in consultation with the parents of the child to determine a course of corrective action including possible revocation of the youth's membership in the unit.

 

"If problem behavior persists, units may revoke a Scout's membership in that unit. When a unit revokes a Scout's membership, it should promptly notify the council of the action.

 

"The unit should inform the Scout executive about all incidents that result in a physical injury or involve allegations of sexual misconduct by a youth member with another youth member."

 

Again, lots of mandatory ground here.

 

Like Mr Hereajo, I am a COR. If he stays in that position, I recommend to him to cast a wide net on his own training. He has access to professional staff, the District Committee, and the Commissioner service for advice, feedback, and input. Looking back at his original question, if he finds unit policy out of line with BSA policy or his own chartered partner's policy, that is the moment to wave the flag, even when the victim is his own youth.

 

To those who are on unit committees, this incident is a case study in why Committeemembers need training as well, to include NLE common core and the Troop Committee Challenge.(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)

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Yah, John. I agree with you, and with Calico. Calico's right, the liability exposure here is real, and dat's sometimes a good club to use to wake some folks up.

 

The only tweak I'd make is that this is really the realm of the chartered org., not the SE. As a COR, you can't pass the buck to the council, it's your job to pull the trigger. Or in hearajo's case, to set things up so the IH or the next COR can do so without a perception of bias.

 

Oh, yah, and bold is policy, mostly. There's no such thing as "mandatory policy." Just a slight difference between policy and guidelines, eh?

 

 

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