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To be clear, just who CAN do drugs?

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The issue of the scout being expelled for smoking pot has been very interesting. Here is a bit of a different scenario that I''d appreciate some input on ...


How about the Scout (Cub Scout age) whose parents are involved in illegal drugs? Once you are aware of their activities and their ongoing issues with the law, do you allow them to attend meetings at any and all levels? Do you require the parents of the other children who will be exposed to them to be informed? What if your Den Leader is a law enforcement officer? Are there any specific guidelines by the BSA that address this issue?

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I would make sure law enforcement is aware of the parents activity...


However I am a big believer that all kids can benefit from Scouting and should not be punished because their parents / guardians are well idiots.... However that does not mean the parents should be encouraged to hang around ... Remember the biggest disservice we can do to a boy is not give them the opportunity to benefit from scouting.


Now if the Scout or the parents are causing a lot of problems that is another story ... Also you have to look at the whole situation standing back, look at everything. What is best not for you, but for everyone including the son of the drug users.


No matter this is something the committee needs to decided on and the committee should elect one person to be the one to publicly deal with the issue.


We are here to help kids, not judge people. However we have to judge people to ensure the safety and well being of all.


Now that I have babbled on, said nothing but double talk... I hope something was of help ...


Scott Robertson


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We had a problem with this one year too. It ended up that a grandparent brought the child to den meetings, which worked out well when they ended up as the boy''s legal guardians too. I don''t think you are obligated to allow someone to show up high (or whatever) to a cub scout meeting. I do think you need to be careful about putting yourself in a position where you''re acting on rumors though, rather than evidence. I don''t think it makes a difference that the DL is a law enforcement officer. Presumably they aren''t on duty when they''re at the den meeting, right?


Also, in addition to your committee chair and chartered organization rep, I think it would be appropriate to let your district executive know you are dealing with this situation, just so s/he doesn''t get blindsided if parents contact him/her.



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Yeh make a report to the department of child welfare because you have reasonable suspicion to believe that the child is in an unsafe environment, and you notify your SE of same. Let da people who handle these things professionally deal with it.


In the meantime, you do what you can for the kid in your program.




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What LisaBob said.


Our obligation as Scouters is to report, no more, no less. The Professional Service (Council Scout Executive and his/her District Executives) has statutory responsibilities in most States to formally report child endangerment events. In some States, that responsibility includes risks. Law Enforcement has the resources and the duties to follow up on reports.


To my way of thinking, the decision to exclude an adult from unit participation belongs to 3-4 Scouters at the most: The Program Officer (and here I include Den Leaders in Cubbing as well as unit principals), the Committee Chair, and the Chartered Organization Representative. A decision to take a stern measure such as this merits contact with your SE/DE.


Reason for edit: Beavah's post :)(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)

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"The Boy Scouts of America prohibits the use of alcoholic beverages and controlled substances at encampments or activities on property owned and/or operated by the Boy Scouts of America, or at any activity involving participation of youth members."



This information does need to be shared with everyone connected with the unit.

While back in my CM days we did have a problem with some parents thinking it was OK to sneak a cold one at a Parent and Son weekend, after the Scouts had gone to bed. (In a State Park where alcohol isn''t allowed!!)

I have never seen or heard about anyone coming to a meeting with a can of beer or bottle in hand. I kinda think that unless someone had a really bad addiction, they are not going to do or use their drug of choice at the meeting.


The BSA is not a drug enforcement agency.

Before I''d go about talking about someone using illegal drugs, I''d need to be very sure of the facts, in fact I''d need to be certain.

Once I was certain I''d have to decide what action I''d want to take.

Do I call the police and report the illegal drug use or not?

This really has nothing to do with the BSA or the policy''s of the BSA other than that the BSA would never condone or support any illegal activity.

If you really think someone is using illegal drugs it is up to you to report it, not as a member of the BSA, but as a law abiding citizen.

If this parent or parents have been found guilty and convicted of using illegal drugs?

They should have had their day in court and if found guilty, will have suffered whatever penalty the court chose to impose.

While this might be grounds that would prevent them from serving as leaders or being adult members of the BSA. In my view (And that''s all this is!!) It in no way should prevent them from playing an active role in the life of their child which hopefully will include Scouting activities. However if you are sure that the illegal drug use is still going on? It is up to you as a citizen to report it.

If anyone turns up for any sort of BSA meeting and seems to be high or stoned they really have no business being there.

With as little fuss and as little commotion as possible they need to be asked to leave. If possible maybe someone could drive them home.

Just because someone seems stoned or high doesn''t automatically mean that they have been using illegal drugs, there are 101 reasons why they might appear to be that way.

This really is a case of fixing the problem (Someone who shouldn''t be there!) And worrying about the reason later.

I think someone would need to wait a day or two and visit them and discuss what happened and explain why it isn''t acceptable. At this time you might find out more information?

Maybe they seemed that way due to just coming from the dentist?

As too : "Do you require the parents of the other children who will be exposed to them to be informed"

If they are adult members of the BSA, the incident does need to be reported to the Pack Committee Chair, the COR And the SE (Not the DE). Once it has been reported they will come up with a plan of action. You might not ever know what the plan was!! But you will have done what is required of you.

I really think anyone who starts going around informing parents will do more harm than good.

"What if your Den Leader is a law enforcement officer?"

I would hope that he or she would be the first to report or take any legal action that is required by law.


If the BSA were to try and have policy''s on everything the Guide To Safe Scouting would be a very large book!!

At times we have to do what is required of us as law abiding members of society.

The BSA doesn''t have a policy on what to do if you witness a murder!! You have to do what is required of you as a citizen.


We all of course do not want to do anything that might endanger any of the youth we serve. Doing what we can to prevent anyone who is for any reason impaired to drive is a given, even if it means calling 911. But I''d be very careful about using terms like "illegal drugs". If for any reason you are wrong you could be doing a lot of harm, not only to the parents but also to their children.

As someone who had several operations to my lower back I have at times been prescribed some heavy duty pain medication. Which made me seem stoned. Of course I didn''t drive or attend Scout meetings while I was taking it, but I didn''t have a young Lad begging me to take him to his Den Meeting.






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"I don''''t think it makes a difference that the DL is a law enforcement officer. Presumably they aren''''t on duty when they''''re at the den meeting, right? "


Actually, Lisabob, this isn''t correct. As the wife of a cop, let me assure you that they ARE on duty 24/7. If there is activity that requires them to act (a warrant, for example), they don''t have the option to not enforce it. There are circumstances they have leeway, for sure, but make no mistake - they are always ON. There are situations that vary in severity (for lack of a better word). People, knowing he is LE would expect him to act if a person were intoxicated and loading kids in the car to take somewhere.


Also, in this case, we are dealing with known facts. The criminal court information is a matter of public record - the activities have been an ongoing issue for several years for the people involved - so we''re not talking about people who screwed up, are getting help and all that. I''m all in favor of coming around folks like that and giving them all the support they need. People DO change. I just need to even hear that they WANT to change, if you know what I mean. And, interestingly enough, the fact that mom has issues on a more regular basis than dad even, just came to light. If she had been content to not insist HE be present (and he had an outstanding warrant at the time - imagine the conflict THAT caused for the leader)her own problems might have stayed under the radar for a long time. They are divorced! She wanted the Den to act as his supervisor for his supervised visitation ... That all came to a head at Pinewood Derby, and they left the Pack - turns out BOTH of them were arrested within a couple of weeks - not together, but independent of one another.


Now, they''re back. They were put into a different den, but the issue of what is best for the REST of the boys remains. Taking off my leader hat (and I am on the committee, so this is a situation I really do need to work through!), and pretending for a moment that I know nothing about what is going on - if something were to happen - an arrest were to made that my child would be exposed to - drug paraphernalia or drugs being found by mine or any other child because it dropped out of some one''s pocket - someone intruding the space we are in because a deal went bad and where we were seemed like an easy place to retaliate - ANYTHING bad or inappropriate happening, and I discovered that the leadership of the Pack was aware of the situation and didn''t at the least inform me so I could choose whether to expose my kiddo to that or not, I would be beyond livid. There is no end to how far I would take this.


So, am I unique, or is my view colored because we are talking about my den, my child, my husband? Because of my dh''s involvement in drug enforcement, I have an awareness that not many do regarding how likely people REALLY are to re-offend, and just how bad things can go and how quickly it can happen.


I feel very bad for this kid. I know without a doubt that scouting could be THE best thing for him. So many problems would be solved in a grandparent WOULD be the ones to bring him. But do you try to save the one while risking the others? Where is that fine line?


Honestly, we''ve faced this issue in a lot of different settings - I''ve had felons deliver furniture to my house, had people that my dh recently arrested walk up to us in stores - even a church one time. There are restaurants he has put on our do-not-eat list because of the people working there and the trafficking that goes on that most people don''t have a clue about. It simply never occurred to me that we would be facing this issue in Scouts ...

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I want to be perfectly clear - I''m not saying they are DOING the drugs at the meetings. I am saying they are entrenched in the drug culture and have repeated and recent arrests involving drugs.


Having lived with a drug addict many years ago, I know most people who participate in this activity regularly carry their paraphernalia with them - be it a pot pipe, a crack pipe, whatever. Might be a joint stuck in a pocket. I also know that they don''t live in a bubble, as do none us - and their lifestyle goes where they go. As for the LE officer enforcing the law, rest assured that things were taken care of when there was a flagrant issue to take care of - just not in front of the entire Pack of boys. My dh was faced with the exact situation that we had struggled to avoid - the mother of this child, even though she had been told that dad could not be present, brought him anyway. Funny thing about warrants - if you have one outstanding, no one can tell you (or your friends or family) that. They arrest you. So it''s not like someone could tell her WHY he couldn''t be there at that point. For several months we succeed in keeping him completely out of my dh''s line of sight.


Now they are back. Up to that point she, her son and her daughter were more than welcome, but I needed assurance that he would NOT be around. She wouldn''t give that. She was transfered to a different den. Then it was discovered that she also has recent activity going on, and pending legal issues. There are a group of people who think we have done this mother an injustice and it is causing quite a ruckus. They have NO IDEA the facts in this case. This year, my dh, instead of being co-den leader is now CM. The situation is not widely known in the Pack, but certainly some of the parents in our own den have a vague idea of why she isn''t with us, and a couple of the other leaders.


So, the question is not whether drugs are being consumed on the premises. And I assure you, my dh is very highly trained to recognize when persons are under the influence - there are ways to even tell WHICH drug is the likely culprit. He is trained beyond what an officer is normally trained. There are several LEO in our Pack - from US Marshals to State Troopers to DCI agents. As far as I recall this minute, my dh is the only one who would be familiar with localized activity of this type.


Please understand - this isn''t about just not liking someone. This is about safety.

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This also begs the question ... what if the person had a history of pedophilia? Would that make a difference?


And NO, these people do not have a criminal history of that or anything to indicate they MIGHT have. But, where is the line? Where is our responsibility to protect the children in our care from known dangers? And what about when what one person deems dangerous conflicts with the opinions of another?

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Oh dear. Sounds a lot more complicated now! Thanks, as well, for clarifying for me the role of an "off-duty" officer.


This one: " She wanted the Den to act as his supervisor for his supervised visitation ..." suggests to me that this person is really out in left field, even if it weren''t for the drug issues. What volunteer scouter in their right mind would agree to this? (answer, I hope: NONE)


In the situation you further describe, I continue to think you don''t have an obligation to allow these parents to attend, whether the boy does or not. I think the most effective manner to handle it is to involve your chartered organization and your SE (Eamonn is correct, the SE is the person you are supposed to contact when it comes to reporting child abuse/endangerment issues.). Your CC for the pack, the CO rep and/or institutional head (CO leader), and the SE or his/her designate meet with these adults and tell them that they cannot attend the meetings. Formally.


As for the boy - maybe you leave it open to the family to send him with another (approved) adult family member, or maybe another family in the den/pack is willing to pick him up and drop him off, though this raises a host of other issues.


At the end of the day though, based on additional info you seem to have pretty well documented, I''d guess both your SE and CO would back you up on declining membership to the boy if that''s what it comes down to (unfortunate though that is). And I''m pretty sure the CO does have that power.





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I may be completely off base here, but I have a question. If you are at a Shopping Mall, and you see an individual who was in the papers and indentified as a convicted dope dealer, can your off duty police officer husband arrest him? Even if he is on duty, can a person be arrested because of a past conviction? While the above poster''s are correct the SE should be notified if there is any hint of drug use or being under the influence, the fact the parents have a drug conviction history is not a reason to prohibit them from actvities. Now, showing up under the influence is of course a different matter, and worthy of calls to the SE and local on duty police. And I should add if the CO doesnt want convicts'' kids they have that right

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SE=Scout Executive...the "top dog" at your council. All of the Council professional staff work for the SE.


You have already been given sound advice. Request a meeting with your Scout Executive and say it's a "youth protection" matter. This is a code phrase that will get an immediate response, without you having to do a lot of explaining to the secretary. Then do what he/she advises you to do. If the advice is something that you are uncomfortable with, or is incompatible with being a law enforcement officer, then you have a decision to make.


(This message has been edited by scoutldr)

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Old Grey Eagle - if that person in the mall had an outstanding warrant, then yes, my off duty husband would kick in gear, call for backup, send me and ds off to the movies while he was busy.


If there is not an outstanding warrant, or this person were not being sought at that moment, or if there were no immediate illegal activity, of course he would NOT arrest them. We also would not invite them to hang out with us for the next hour, hour and a half while we window shopped or ate dinner. And we sure wouldn''t tell them, here - sit by my 8 year old.


Thanks for the definition of SE - I really knew that and was just testing you (vsg).

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