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To be clear, just who CAN do drugs?

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In my area, we as Scouters are under the mandated reporter umbrella, which means we don''t just call the SE but we are required to call Child Protective Services if there is evidence or reasonable suspicion(define that term please) of child endangerment. Or we become indictable for contributing. There''s a local principal on trial(the job is gone) for not informing CPS even though she did report it up to her Supervisor.


Showing up impaired to drop off or pick up a child would not be wise at our meetings.


Having priors?, well I''m not intentionally going to look any harder but when the suspicion trigger trips theres just naturally going to be a little less leeway.

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We have our responsibilities as Scout leaders, as parents, as citizens and simply as human beings.


As a Scoutmaster, I would allow parents to attend outdoor activities and troop meetings regardless of the "rap sheet." My "litmus test" would be how they conducted themselves in the presence of the youth and other adults. My Scout duties require me to report any accusations of child abuse to the SE.


As a parent, I'd have to make a judgment call on if I thought the parents had the potential to cause harm to any of the other youth, my own children included.


As a citizen, I'd have to decide if I should report suspected illegal activity or not.


Now, I'm a "child" of the 60's. I went to high school in the early 70s, the time that most surveys show had the highest usage of such drugs as marijuana. For example, some studies indicated that about 65% of youth in the 16-18 year age group had tried marijuana. That doesn't make it right or okay and it was still illegal. But from a practical perspective, if I reported to the police everyone that I knew who smoked the "evil weed" the police would have put me on a "don't call" list! From my own personal perspective, I don't condone drug use and I think it is a lousy example to the kids but feel that in reality from a purely physiological perspective - one beer vs. one joint isn't much difference. So I would look more at the behavior of the adult(s) in question during the meetings/outings and base my judgment on that. (This message has been edited by a staff member.)

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I''m sorry MomToEli, but it sounds to me as if you are coming off sounding like you are the judge and jury.

We have had a number of adults who have received DUI''s, they have not tried to hide the fact and make mention of it on the Adult Leader Application.

In most cases both the CO and the BSA seem OK to allow them to serve as leaders.

Carrying drug paraphernalia is a crime.

If someone is guilty of having it on them they can be arrested and the courts take it from there. Being married to a person involved in law enforcement I''m sure you are aware of this..

Still I have a hard time with the idea of banning a child''s parent from participating in their child''s activities just because of past deeds.

Maybe Little Timmy''s parents are "Pot Heads" (Or whatever drug they have used) But and it''s a big but!! We do not have any right to prevent them from participating until such a time as they are caught doing it at a Scout function or we are informed by the CO or the SE that they are not allowed to participate.

If you really do think that allowing these people to attend Scouting functions does pose some sort of threat or danger to the youth you need to talk to the right people.

Taking on this as your mission and trying to handle it yourself could damage the good name of the CO and the BSA.

The best thing to do is let the people who are responsible for this do their job. By all means make them aware of how you feel, but once you have done that the matter is out of your hands.

If you find out that a later date they are a danger to the youth report it again.

If you see them with drug paraphernalia or with drugs call the police and then report this to the CO and the SE.

If indeed their drug use is a matter of public record, there is no need for you to go around telling the other parents.

If they (The other parents) are uncomfortable with having this boy in the Den /Pack, they are of course free to look for and go to another Pack.

Any sort of discrimination against a Scout due to his parents past is just wrong.

We are here to serve the youth, reaching out to kids who maybe don''t come from the "Nice and Best Families" is what we do. Not allowing his parents to participate is just wrong until such a time as they do something wrong and you are informed not to allow them to participate.




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Thank you all for your responses. Eammon, sounding like judge and jury is exactly what I don''t want to be perceived as doing, which is why I am attempting to work through this here.


Some of you do seem to be missing the point that we are not talking about their past, their youth, or even a while ago. We are talking about ongoing, present behavior. It doesn''t have to be today, sitting in the parking lot before a meeting to be present. And I don''t need to be the judge and jury. They''ve already been convicted. But thanks to a very liberal court system, we have a revolving door for criminals of all swipes. That sounds great, until it''s your property or your loved on or your self that is harmed or threatened. Then it''s the system that failed.


But, what I''m running up against is a society that has liberalized itself, and being anti-drugs isn''t a particularly popular way to be. Being involved in the drug culture just isn''t perceived as all that serious. That is simply a result of lack of knowledge and understanding of the problem in the first place. It reminds me of the woman who fears the person who is stalking her, but until that person actually hurts her, she has no legal complaint (that, by the way has changed). I noticed no one came near the question - what if the parent had a history of pedophilia. Or the question, does the nature of the criminal offense matter? The anthem that what is past is past could be said of any and every offense - and if it is a true statement, is often a valid consideration.


It is unfortunate that this is a concern that I can''t work out without sounding holier than thou. That is so far apart from who I am and what I actually am wrestling with here. I love the kids in my den - I have a tremendous amount of emotional investment in these children - which in and of itself is probably not a good thing. Like many of you I invest hours of my time and large numbers of our dollars into our den each week. I take my responsiblities to these children as serious as if they were my own. I bet you all do to. I''ve opened my home to our scout families. We have worked hard to create a safe and comfortable environment here. All of a sudden I don''t feel safe here. I have imagines of someone leaving a rock of meth in my sofa, or grabbing my husband''s badge off the top of the self in his bathroom. I remember him coming home a couple of years back telling me that they had found a list of the names, addresses and vehicle plate numbers of all of the guys on their task force - found the list in the home of a druggie they did a search warrant on. One of the guys - the state had to put a top notch security system in his home because of death threats against him AND his family. That sort of stuff is the stuff of nightmares for a cop''s family. I have friends who have had their attached garage bombed (while wife and kids were asleep inside the house)by someone who just was minding their own business in their drug infested life ... It is difficult to live in a society that seems oblivious to that reality. Or if they are aware, somehow figure it''s just the risk we take. Needless to say, den meetings will no longer be in our home. I''m feeling like I am working with an organization that is telling me I MUST put myself and my child in the potential of harms way. That makes me very uncomfortable.


My husband and I are among the first to come along side someone who is trying to break away from a lifestyle that is a detriment to themselves and their family. We aren''t cold hearted, judgemental individuals. Well, dh might be considered that. If he doesn''t pay attention to those little clues, I''ll be visited by the two guys in the dark blue car one night. So, honey - judge away.


Unfortunately for me, I guess, I no longer have the luxuary of viewing life through tinted glasses that allow me minimize just how significant a problem illegal drug use is in our midst today. These are not the same drugs we faced in the 60s and 70s. It''s not the same pot. And the drugs of choice around here are far more volital than any pot. See, you all simply assumed I''m talking about pot in this case. And frankly, the specific drug is inconsequental to the conversation.


I am just very disappointed that people who are charged with mentoring to and building young people fail to see the dangers in exposing our children to such a life. I am reasonably sure that given the arrest record of the mom in particular that the children have been visited by DHS. Of course, that has the worth of about squat anymore. Children at risk are left in the care of those incapable of caring for their kids on a very regular basis. And yes, kids like this do need allies and places where they can be exposed to a much different way of life. Why do you think I''m struggling here?


Anyway, we are talking to our CC and it will be decided at the council level at least. Then if there is a major failure in the system, no one will be able to plead ignorance. And, I''ve no doubt that both parents will end up in trouble again - without me or my dh having to do anything at all. After all, mom is currently driving while barred. She''ll run a stop sign somewhere. Her pattern seems to be about every 3 months. And that may make this case a non-issue.


I guess what I was attempting to accomplish in this discussion here, on this board, was to determine if BSA had guidelines in this matter. If they don''t, or if what they decide presents a conflict for us, then we, as a family have to evaluate our involvement. I don''t know the right answer for the Pack - honest. I just know the right answer for our family - at least a the den level, which is a smaller, more intimate group. I just am trying to sort out the facts, my own emotions and take the pulse, maybe of a group of experienced scouters, such as yourselves.


Sorry to ramble. This is really bothering me.

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The answer to your basic question is, no the BSA doesn''t have standards for the behavior of parents, except as it relates to Youth Protection policies. The parents are not members, the kid is. There is no background check performed on parents until they apply to become registered leaders. That is one basic level of protection...EVERY adult who regularly comes in contact with scouts as a volunteer SHOULD be registered (i.e., background and references checked). My previous advice still stands...have a chat with your SE and explain your concerns. But don''t be surprised if the decision is to revoke the boy''s membership (which is really all the SE CAN do, in the absence of abuse or neglect). Sacrificing one for the good of the group and the good name of the BSA is not unheard of.

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A couple of people smarter than me have pointed out from time to time that "feedback is a gift" and I hope you''ll take people''s responses in that manner.


"Mom," I understand your turmoil about this issue. And of course you are more than welcome to agree, or disagree, with whatever people here may think. Given that none of us really know you or the specifics of your pack, den, and situation, the best we can do is give you advice based on limited knowledge. And people often "fill in the details" based on their own personal experiences, so you''re going to get a range of different perspectives. Or maybe some people here are misunderstanding the gravity of your situation, but there''s only so much you can ask for in terms of in-depth analysis from a discussion board, even when the people on that board are as earnest and caring as many of the folks here seem to be.


But, ah, I think you are misrepresenting what has been said here. Quite a few people have suggested to you that if you have serious concerns, the people to talk with are the Charter Organization folks, the Committee Chair, and the Scout Exec.. That''s solid advice. I hope you''ll follow it. You, by yourself, do not have the authority to tell a family they can''t be in the pack. You, in combination with these other people, do have that authority if that''s what it comes down to. Whether or not everyone here (or in your pack, or where ever) agrees, is ultimately irrelevant.


And as for your "choice" about whether you want to be part of an organization that doesn''t have specific policies on situations like the one you describe - well, I can see where you might decide that a pack that includes people whom you feel to be dangerous is not the right pack for your family. OK, understood, so then find another pack if you need to. But don''t blame the BSA for this. Someone else mentioned that the BSA doesn''t and can''t have written policies for every scenario imaginable, and common sense needs to apply. What the BSA DOES do, is it gives Chartered Organizations the right to set membership criteria that are acceptable to the CO. So - again - you need to talk with your CO about this situation. And if you don''t like the outcome, blame the CO for failing to live up to its charter obligations, rather than the BSA. The CO and the BSA are partners in this endeavor, and the CO needs to pull its own weight too if the partnership is to succeed. THis is their job to hash out.

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I''m not upset with anyone here. The situation upsets me because there are other people IRL who won''t let the fact that this family has been transfered to another den be enough. Our goal was never to get the kid expelled from scouts. But I have grown weary of having to defend ourselves for making a decision that pertains to our family and den - and in that decision, the council has backed us completely. I''m weary of someone else''s choices being thrust upon me as if they were and are helpless and somehow I should accomodate that. I don''t cotton to such bs well. If this whole mess hadn''t been blatantly waved in our faces, we wouldn''t be where we are right now.


I wanted to to figure out policy (which you all have helped me with), figure out what my alternatives are (which you all have helped me with), and try to sort out what exactly I''m feeling and why (which, you all have helped me with)-for which I am deeply grateful. It is frustrating when you believe people aren''t hearing you clearly, and that is a limitation of the internet. It is also what happens when you are talking about issues that have such wide divisions. I didn''t come looking for people to pat me on the back and tell me you go, girl. Your feedback has helped me hear the other side more clearly and I''ve been able to do so in a calm manner.


So, we are all good here, at least from my side of the screen. I apologize if in my state of intense thinking I offended anyone.

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