Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Philmont0406

Rank Reduction

Recommended Posts

"the Scout who must start to toe the line or suffer the consequences of his actions. After all, we are preparing young men to make moral & ethical decisions, aren't we?"

Yes Sir.

While there are some things that are just not acceptable. We however are never going to prepare anyone for anything if we throw them out!

The Scoutmaster is to deliver the program.

Matters of discipline depending on the situation should be managed by the Troop Committee.

Ea.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, the SM cannot bump a boy back in rank. However, the SM should have the ability to apply some measure of discipline on an unruly scout. In our troop we say that first and foremost, our discipline policy is the Scout Oath & Law. Beyond that, however, you do need some guidelines. We have a stated policy on what can constitute kicking a boy out of our troop. I've had to do it once in four years, and that's one time too many.

 

I'm also assuming that this SM wasn't doing this in a joking way. I've been guilty of this a few times. You know, the Star scout that can't tie a bowline. I'll say "Boy, I'm going to bust you back to 2nd Class!!!". That might be frowned upon in this PC world we live in, but the point is that we have expectations for the boys to fulfill at each level.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Supervision and Discipline are the corner stones of the administrative end of program. You can have dedicated, completely trained and experienced Supervision and the Discipline of a Buddhist Monk but if you dont know the material or arent reaching the boys with it you program fails. Its easier to keep them in line when they want to stay in line.

IMO discipline should be managed by the SPL/PLC and SM/ASM not the troop Committee. Discipline is not synonymous with punishment as such the Troop Committee is not around to discipline a scout at a meeting or on an outing. The TC should be consulted in matters of expulsion if only as a matter of courtesy. The SPL/PLC should have a set of conditions of membership so to speak along with consequences for not following them. Youve done A so now B is going to happen. I helped our Youth Leadership develop such a code long ago and each SPL since has had the opportunity to amend and discuss revisions. There has been one, as a result of my having to expel a scout for deliberately setting himself on fire. Sometimes you dont see the need to make certain things against the rules until after they actually happen.

LongHaul

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think we don't have a lot of the information here, but in general, the measured responses give a good framework.

 

First of all, I wonder where the peer pressure to conform on the good side of things is in this unit? Is the informal leadership network (older Scouts) supporting the formal one (SPL+PLC and SM)? If not, why not?

 

Next, if a particular young man is a consistent challenge to leadership, maybe he needs to have his parent be part of the adult leadership on weekends. As a Dad, I enjoyed the trips I made with my son. As a DAD, I am very proud that my son now sees me when he leaves for Scout camp on Sunday, and says "See you at Ceremony Night." When I get there, he and his near young-adult peers are on top of the world, having fun. If I HAD to be there, because he was a hard-case, I'd be a bit upset over his conduct managing my time, and the parent-child talks would happen.

 

How many adults are going out with this Troop? How often? Does it have enough coverage that the SM can let an ASM be in charge of a camp at least once a year, or are we approaching burn-out?

 

Finally, there are consequences a SM can give a youth, but they tend to be "going forward," not "looking backward." If the young man is not performing in his POR (and if he's a handful at camp I'd like to see his performance in his POR), the time doesn't have to be certified for the next rank. I've noticed as a unit advancement coordinator that ScoutNet is pretty picky; I've been unable to get a merit badge miscoded off a young man's records in 3 years ... even after submitting an Advancement Report saying "This badge was never awarded this boy, please remove it!"

 

This is a time where the UC needs to take a proper inventory of the unit, and truly "Be the unit's Scouting friend."

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just CYA.

The SPL should be trying to handle a problem along with the PLC, but under supervision of the ASM'S and SM. They then shouild recruit help from the ASM and SM if they are unable to resolve the problem. If the ASM and SM are unable to resolve the problem, then the parents need to be brought into the picture.

At this point when the ASM and SM plan a meeting with the parents and the scout in question, it might be smart to have the CE or someone like the DE present to CYA. All you need for bad PR is a parent who thinks his kid is being ganged up on by the boys and adult leadership in the troop ( MY JOHNNIE IS PERFECT. HE WOULD NEVER DO THAT!),to start crying to the press.

Hopefully the parents will work with the ASM and SM. The parents might be having problems also and might need a sympathetic ear and or advice.

If you get to the point that the boy needs to be removed from the troop, the Council should be involved for advice and legality issues. Anyone can sue for anything. Doesn't mean they have a case to stand on, but a suit will make you all miserable, especially if the Council refuses to pick the attorney's fees.

Also, never has an Eagle Scout been convicted of Murder. National has always pulled the Rank of Eagle before or during trial. So I guess that demotions can occur, but only in special circumstances.(This message has been edited by ASM915)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a requirement for each rank that involves Scout Spirit. There are boys who simply don't advance because of this. I do think there are a lot of SM's out there that really don't take this requirement at it's face value and is basically a gimmie.

 

As far as SM kicking a boy out? When one has to unarm one boy to reduce the threat to another, it's time to say good-bye. The SM might be seen as "kicking him out", but in fact, for the safety of the Troop, the SM is only protecting the others. The boy wielding the weapon kicked himself out. It's all part of the un-Politically Correct, avoid a law suit at all cost thinking that keeps leaders from teaching respect, leadership and ethical/moral decisions.

 

Stosh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is not a case of SM burnout. He's been the SM for less than one year. The boy had been a problem and the other scouts had complained about him. The SM tried to deal with him and correct his behavior. He allegedly hit other scouts as a first mechanism for something that didn't go his way. I was on a camping trip back in December and all the adults present commented that he was behaving, including the SM.

The troop went camping again a few weeks ago. When I dropped off my son for the weekend the SM told me that he informed this scout that if he misbehaved he was going to reduce him rank from First Class to Second Class.

When I went back on Sunday to pick up my son the SM told me he told the boy's mother that the scout could no longer be part of the troop. The procedure in our troop is the Patrol Leader should try to deal with it first, then the SPL, then the PLC and so on up the line.

"Problems that may lead to a Scout's permanent removal from the troop

will be handled by the Troop Committee and Scoutmaster and will involve the parent/guardian. Together they will work toward a solution with the Troop's best interest in mind."

The part in quotes is from our by-laws. This is what the SM did not follow.

Do I believe the boy should have been removed from the troop? YES.

But, I also believe we need to follow our own by-laws.

While I can't fix what happened in the past, I can prevent the same situation from happening in the future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yah, OK Philmont0406. Thanks for the added information.

 

From what you say, there is general consensus that the behavior of the boy was bad enough, over repeated incidents, to warrant removal.

 

Assuming that to be the case, I wouldn't get too hung up on your bylaws, eh? The SM did what was appropriate, the parent reacted properly, you and the committee support the action. End of story.

 

You might even say that your bylaws need a revision. If the SM really thinks it's necessary to remove a kid for health/safety/behavior reasons, is the committee really goin' to second-guess that? Good way to be lookin' for a new SM. Most committees consist of parents of other boys, who may know the scout in question and his parents. That can be pretty awkward, socially. Havin' da scoutmaster make the call makes it easier on folks, eh?

 

I'd encourage you to make it so the SM can take the action on his/her own, but the boy or parent can appeal to the committee. Often, the process and delay of appealing can help calm parents down and adjust to accepting the decision, even though the appeal may not change the outcome. If da committee is the one doin' the expelling, then the appeal goes to the council or the CO, which can be awkward.

 

I'd encourage yeh not to make a big deal out of an outcome that you think was correct. Support the SM in a hard decision.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still feel that before we cast the boy to the wolves we as scoutleaders have an obligation to talk to the boy and his parents to at least see if this is a problem that can be dealt with. In the meantime you can suspend from outings and allow him to meetings only if a parent accompanies him. If it is later determined that there is no hope for the boy then suspend him.

 

I had a young man in my crew recently who on a camping trip pulled a knife on another teen, it later turned out that this other teen had been making comments about killing all the Iraqis since "they are all scum" and had continued with other racial slurs. It just so happens that this boy is half Iraqi and this other boy knew it. Now I could have thrown out both of these guys for this behavior and been done with it. Instead I had the boy with the knife go interview an anger control counselor who guided the boy through his anger issues, the boy who was the bigot was given the task of interviewing an Iraqi cleric in the area and to deliver a report to the crew about the religions and culture of the Iraqi people. Well both of these guys learned a lot, and have become good friends, both of them just finished the Bronze Award in Religious Life. Sometimes you never know what will happen if you take that one extra step.

 

Stosh- For the record Venturers don't have ranks, they receive achievment awards, so you can't lower a Venturers rank, read you leaders guide.

 

YIS/YIV

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While there are some things that are just not acceptable. We however are never going to prepare anyone for anything if we throw them out!

 

True, but allowing disruptive behavior by one boy is no good for the whole group. Sometimes the good of the group is more important than the good of the individual.

 

Ed Mori

1 Peter 4:10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JBlake47...

 

OK, let's revisit Scout Spirit ONE MORE TIME:

 

Demonstrate scout spirit by living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Scout Law in your everyday life.

 

NOTE THE WORDS, SIR: EVERYDAY LIFE. That means time away from Scouting.

 

Scout spirit is to extend the Oath, Law, Motto and Slogan beyond the 4 walls of the troop meeting and the 4 corners of the campground.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that the Scout was 1st Class rank, in spite of the repeated poor behavior, is an indication the Scoutmaster and/or the Board of Review were not familiar with the advancement requirements. Last time I checked, the requirement about demonstrating Scout spirit and living the Scout Oath and Law were a part of every rank advancement. Understandably, everyone has his moments. But, it sounds like the Scout in this case was deviant on a regular basis. How did he make it past a SM conference and Board of Review? Was he a good guy turned bad all-of-a-sudden?

 

I am also concerned that a leader would manage to allow a young Scout to call his bluff on such a ridiculous and unenforceable threat. Not only does this leader need training before being allowed responsiblity for a troop of boys, he needs to be specifically warned to ease up on the throttle. Such empty threats only invite future misbehavior problems. Additionally, they don't exemplify the Core Values of Scouting. Maybe this guy just lost his cool. Perhaps he also needs a few qualified ASMs to assist him.

 

To anyone who cannot find any rule about ranks being revokable, I urge you to call your council registrar and suggest it. You'll find out that it does not happen. And why would anyone really bother? If the Scout is that unworthy, warn him and work with him. If he shows no improvement, send him packing.

 

My two cents. . . for what they're worth.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NOTE THE WORDS, SIR: EVERYDAY LIFE. That means time away from Scouting.

 

Don't agree.

 

If one is involved in Scouting then Scouting is part of everyday life. By your definition, John-in-KC, a boy could be a holy terror in the Troop & be an angel outside the Troop & therefore would be living up to the requirement. That makes no sense.

 

Living the Oath & Law in your everyday life includes Scouting.

 

Ed Mori

1 Peter 4:10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>>I am also concerned that a leader would manage to allow a young Scout to call his bluff on such a ridiculous and unenforceable threat. Not only does this leader need training before being allowed responsiblity for a troop of boys, he needs to be specifically warned to ease up on the throttle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>>This is only learned through experience, and the only way we get experience is by making mistakes. Rather than getting on a high horse and telling a SM that he needs to be trained before he be allowed to have the responsibility of a troop of boys, I would advise that the leaders get together for a thorns & roses type of discussion for everyone to learn from the experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...