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runintherain

Possible Youth Protection Problem?

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"It is not the duty of the witness to investigate the incident but it is the duty to be sure of the situation. "

 

 

I agree! I have no qualm about somebody reporting what they think is a YP issue( even if it turns out not to be), but I do think they need to reasonably belive it is a YP violation.

 

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A question... How does BSA/YPT handle issues where State Law is more stringent than BSA/YPT? For example, Arizona has a pretty stringent abuse reporting statute...

 

Arizona Revised Statutes 13-3620

 

"Any person who reasonably believes that a minor is or has been the victim of physical injury, abuse, child abuse, a reportable offense or neglect that appears to have been inflicted on the minor by other than accidental means or that is not explained by the available medical history as being accidental in nature shall immediately report or cause reports to be made of this information to a peace officer or to Child Protective Services in the Department of Economic Security, except if the report concerns a person who does not have care, custody or control of the minor, the report shall be made to a peace officer only."

 

"A member of the clergy, Christian Science practitioner or priest who has received a confidential communication or a confession in that person's role as a member of the clergy, Christian Science practitioner or a priest in the course of the discipline enjoyed by the church to which the member of the clergy, Christian Science practitioner or priest belongs may withhold reporting of the communication or confession if the member of the clergy, Christian Science practitioner or priest determines that it is reasonable and necessary within the concepts of the religion. This exemption applies only to the communication or confession and not to personal observations the member of the clergy, Christian Science practitioner or priest may otherwise make of the minor."

 

This means that anyone (not just a teacher/peace officer/medical practitioner) is required by law to report any belief of abuse to either CPS or the Police...no going through the BSA hierarchy.

 

Does BSA adjust to local or state law?

 

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Edit... added second section...copy paste error!(This message has been edited by Engineer61)

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E61, clearly the BSA cannot ask you to break the law, nor should you break the law based on a belief that the BSA "requires" you to.

 

Is the source of your concern over the phrase "the report shall be made to a peace officer only"? I personally don't have the legal background to tell whether it is phrased that way to indicate that CPS is just not the appropriate agency to handle that type of report, or that legally that type of report should be reported only to law enforcement. I'm leaning towards the first interprettation (I doubt you'd be breaking the law for notifying CPS rather than law enforcement in good faith).

 

I've said before that in the case of suspected actual abuse, my course of action would be to involve law enforcement or the appropriate authorities prior to notifying the SE. The authorities can immediately begin to take the appropriate investigative and interventional steps to remove the child from harms way. The SE doesn't do any of that - he wants to be notified for other reasons. So, I guess if I were in Arizona and concerned about that particular law, I'd mention the Scouting angle to the authorities that I've notified, and ask them to advise me on if/when/how the SE should be notified.

 

Again, not all "YP issues" are "child abuse issues." There is some overlap, but all of the cases where you truly believe that a child may have been harmed need to ultimately be handled by more appropriate authorities than your council's CEO.(This message has been edited by KC9DDI)

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In these matters yeh should always follow da law, eh? By and large the BSA is just a bystander to most issues of child abuse, because they occur in the home or otherwise outside of scouting. All we hope is that by makin' kids and adults aware of these things, they might be in a position to recognize and help a child in need. Yeh report to da BSA only when it's not a bystander - when stuff occurs in scouting.

 

Most report-for-suspicion laws like this, whether the reporting is mandatory or optional, come with statutory immunity for good-faith reports, eh? But only if the report is made to the state authorities. If you make a report/accusation to anyone else, then yeh aren't immune from civil defamation claims. Including if you make a report to da SE.

 

So follow the law. Then follow your CO's reporting requirements. Last follow da BSA's. Above all, though, do what yeh need to do to help a child in need. If yeh do that, da other stuff will almost always work out.

 

Of course only for real injury or abuse or such, eh? Not for low-level YP issues like what da original post was about.

 

Beavah

 

Beavahs are furry critters that like cold northern climes rather than southwestern deserts. Nuthin' herein should be taken as legal advice or opinion, especially in places where Beavahs aren't licensed to build dams or do any other thing. Besides, yeh have dam big dams in Arizona, yeh don't need our industrious little beaver dams.

 

 

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All I know is that a kid has a whole lot better of chance dying in a car crash riding with just one adult than being assaulted by one adult he is riding with.

 

Perhaps the G2SS should mandate that scouts are only allowed to ride in cars with 8+ airbags, as they are going to reduce injury much much much more than requiring that a scoutmaster can never ride one on one with a scout.

 

Everything you do is a calculated risk.

 

Sleep in a tent? There is a chance if you are in range of a tree it could fall on you in the night and crush you. Do we need the g2ss to say all tents must be 300 feet away from a tree?

 

Someone standing close to a fire could trip and fall into it. Does the g2ss need to mandate how far you must stay away from an open flame?

 

You could spill hot wash water on your leg. Does the g2ss need to mandate that rinse water may only be heated up to a certain temperature, require every troop to purchase multiple thermometers, and inform council if the water got too hot?

 

There is probably a 1000 to 1 chance that a youth will burn his leg with rinse water or fall into the fire before any adult tries to do anything to him.

 

We could just declare that all camping trips are now to be conducted at the local mental institution, each kid is put in a padded cell for the weekend, and given cold liquid food as to not choke or burn himself.

 

Of course, then you would still have to get there, which is dangerous in itself, so lets just stay home. But wait... there are chemicals at home that the scout can sniff... I guess the only safe option is to not have any kids at all anymore. If you don't have kids they can't get hurt, right?

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Yah, runintherain, yeh raise an interestin' question.

 

Honestly, from an objective point of view, the no one-on-one rule is more to protect the adult leaders from false accusations than it is to protect the kids. Just being in a car with a boy for a bit on a long drive isn't goin' to be a setup for predatory behavior on its own. Predators really start outside of scouting, eh? Become friends with da family, see the boys when no other scouting adults are around. Adult-on-youth molestation by anyone other than a parent or relative rarely happens on scouting events, and then only when the person has been doin' it outside of scouting for a while.

 

So I'd be inclined to approach the SM gently and describe what it looked like to you in a friendly manner. Let him know it's compromising his own protection, because it opens him up to suspicions and rumors and da potential for false accusations. That should be enough to kick it up a notch in his thinkin'. And as others have said, there are all kinds of reasons why it might have seemed like da right thing to do in the moment, from the lad misbehaving in another car on down to all da other boys piled into the minivan with the movie player ;). Packin' up with a mess of kids runnin' around, things happen yeh don't catch.

 

Now, if there's a pattern with isolating that same boy on multiple occasions, giving special treatment or gifts, that sort of thing, then yeh might have a word with da boy's parents, the CC, and perhaps da Scout Executive.

 

Beavah

 

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