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Felony Conviction

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There is a parent in our Pack who supposedly has expressed interest in becoming a den leader.

 

However he's also admitted to a felony conviction for fighting or assaulting someone, whatever the legal term for that is. This was verified by one of our committee members who has those sort of resources.

 

Leaving the personal and CO concerns aside for the moment, will this application be nixed by the Council or Regional Office?

 

We're going to need to have a sit-down with the COR and IH before it gets that far, but I wanted to know what our options are beforehand - if they determine that he's reticent and all that, and want to proceed with submitting the application.

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Just curious...if the background check turning up a felony isn't enough to keep someone from passing muster with the council, just what WOULD be enough?

 

I know my company won't let me hire anyone if they have even a serious misdemeanor - what is 'too much' for Scouting?

 

I'd expect that a conviction for anything child abuse related would have to be on the list, but then again I would have thought that ANY felony would be too much.

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First, the adult needs to have a talk with the Chartered Org Rep and the Chartered Partner's Executive Officer. They have to be comfortable with this man serving.

 

I've been a COR. I'd want to have a friendly cup of coffee somewhere with him. I'd want to closely check his references.

 

Then it's time to visit with the DE.

 

I don't know if the adult wanting to serve will be accepted. I wish him well.

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Yah, just depends, eh?

 

A conviction for felony assault can come in all sorts of forms, eh? Some of 'em would raise a red flag especially if recent, others not so much. Could be not much more than beatin' up a fellow who took a swing at him back when he was 19, dependin' on who he beat up and what jurisdiction he did it in.

 

I think he answers the BSA Application form honestly and attaches an explanation/description of the conviction and a copy of his court/release documents showin' that he paid his debt in full. Then it's to the CO, and then to the BSA. If the CO wants him, they should attach an additional note to that effect, sayin' they looked into the conviction and are comfortable that it no longer has a bearing on his suitability to serve as a youth leader. In such a case, by and large da BSA defers to the Chartered Organization.

 

Beavah

 

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Yeah, a conviction isn't necessarily always a sign of bad behavior. It also can be a sign of being in th wrong place at the wrong time or an idiot lawyer.

 

For instance, I had a friend who had an complete date with a girl. She was a knock out and dressed hot. She claimed to be 21 years old. She had a 1 year old son too. A few weeks later, he gets arrested for statuatory rape. He was 20. She was 16..but looked 25.

 

He was about 3 hairs shy of going to jail and having to register as a sex offender due to this girl.

 

Okay, he should have/could have checked into it a bit more. But like I said, she looked and dressed much older than she was. She had a kid too. Short of demanding an id and SS card, what could he do?

 

Had he been convited, he would of had to get on sexual offenders registry . In all honesty, hi only crime was lack of judgement.

 

Now, I am not saying all convictions mean nothing. But I am saying that sometimes the circumstances behind a felony convition are due to limted options in charges and sentances handed out.

 

Might be somebody breaks in your house and holds a knife to your childs throat. You take him out with a gun. Turns out he's a senators son and a member of some big time church. Thanks to politics, you get charged with all kinds of bogus stuff. And because of the senators public weight, and his popularity ..and money too. You get convited of a felony.

 

Simple huh?

 

Then again, something that was illegal 25 years ago may be not only legal, but also a morally accepted norm in todays society.

 

Point being, take each case on it's own merits.

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"Complete date"...never heard it called that before...

I agree with the others, not necessarily a deal breaker. He should answer all questions on the app truthfully and be forthcoming with those who will have to approve the application. If he gets through all those hoops, it will be up to the SE and the results of the background check.

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We call it a full service date.....Same deal.

 

 

I live in the inner city and deal with this a lot. Most of adults when confronted with a background check that maybe problematic usually will turn down becoming a leader..... kudos for him wanting to be his sons scout leader.

 

My Pack, Troop and Crew CO, IH and COR's position is no violent or sexual convictions period.

 

 

the point is as a SM or CM or CC it isn't our decision. it belongs to the CO.

 

I fully agree and support the CO's position.....

 

Is it worth the risk of someone with a violent or sexual past being involved with your scout no matter how repentant they are??????

 

 

I am curious if Council or National has ever rejected an application. Never heard of one.(This message has been edited by Basementdweller)

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Back to the original question about the assault.

 

A good sit down and discussion is going to be your first step. Get with your UC if you have one, DE and Council office if he is still interested.

 

Let him know that he will probably have to go through and reveal the whole incident. Honesty is the best policy. If he is willing to do that then I would go further.

 

It may be something that is in the past and something that can be looked past.

 

Make sure that this guy is willing to let what was done be known and go from there. The Council office is probably going to be asking a lot of questions, so just let him know to be ready.

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http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/insight/stories/2010/09/26/boy-scouts-wont-share-abuser-files.html

 

There is a statement in this article about some files being created "just in case" an undesirable adult would submit an application.

 

However in this case I am not necessarily worried about sexual abuse, but this individual is not someone I would solicit or endorse as an adult leader. There are some questions of his current behavior that don't seem like an active or enthusiastic volunteer.

 

During pack campouts he spends his time inside his tent and does not come out to "mingle" with the other parents or help out. He also has not made any effort to assist his boys' den leader or help during events.

 

He has told us that his twin boys are disruptive at school (ADHD / Behavioral disorders) but the only behavior I see is normal 2nd-grade boys. I don't know if this was a true medical diagnosis, or simply a frustrated parent diagnosis. Also some of the other parents have noted that the boys' "medication" administered by dad is two adult doses of Benedryl which dopes the kids up and makes them lethargic. When I've worked with them undrugged, they seem like pretty normal kids.

 

We're actually pretty close to having a discussion with Children's Services about it.

 

I guess the real reason for the original question, was to find out if Council would automatically zap the application, thereby releasing the Pack and COR from the onus of turning it down. Because my thinking is that the unit does turn down the application, he'll withdraw the boys from the Pack. I'd rather see them in the unit where we can continue to keep an eye on them.

 

However if the Council turns down the application, they may stick around.

 

I've spoken with the individual several times in an effort to draw him out or "mentor" him, but he doesn't like me very much since I got his pal the rogue Cubmaster bounced out of the unit.

 

I appreciate the discussion.

 

 

 

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If you did the crime and paid the time, as long as there's no "youth protection" issues, I don't think the Council will turn him down. They might, but if I was someone in your Council, I'd kick it back to you and ask you what you thought since you're closer and would better know what the person is like and whether there are likely to be any continuing issues. If you ask the Council to reject it, if I was on the Council, I'd reject it.

 

That being said, if you were a regular person (not a Scout leader) and were "this close" to calling Child Protection Services or whatever they're called where you live, then I'd say to do it, mentioning the benadryl, etc. In California, at least, they accept "anonymous" calls/referrals. In the long run, you'll sleep better if you don't have to "live in fear" that something is happening to the boys that shouldn't be.

 

However, you are a Scout leader so you are required to report suspected (or known) child abuse to your Committee/COR and the local (most likely district) Scouting executive. You sound like you have "reasonable suspicion" which means that it is "objectively reasonable for a person to entertain a suspicion, based upon facts that could cause a reasonable person in a like position, drawing, when appropriate, on his or her training and experience, to suspect child abuse or neglect" (which is the rule in CA -- I don't know what it's like in Ohio).

 

In CA, this wouldn't result in an arrest, CPS would work with the family to educate them about how to better raise their children.

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Why is it that with questions like this, we only get the full story after everyone has given their opinions? Now my opinion has changed. Your gut is telling you this is not a good situation. Listen to it. Don't wait and hope for Council to be the bad guy.

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I hear what you are saying, about wanting to keep them in and keep an eye on them.

 

My suggestion is to start the ball rolling with your being the bad guy to talk with the SE, about your concerns for the guys actions with the boys and the unit, his intrest in becoming a leader, and your wish to keep the boys in the unit.

 

I do not know if the SE can call in the tip anonymously or not.. If they "maybe", you have the best of all worlds. Most likely the call will need to be made, I don't think the SE can decide what is & is not serious enough.. But if done anonymously, they "may" not know who reported them and keep the kids in scouts to show "good parenting".. The SE can then act as a bad guy and turn down the app (based on your information, if not the felony), and the rejection will not have come fron your unit.

 

It could all blow up, if the SE can not report it anonymously, or the parents figure out you are the only group knowing the medicate with adult doses of Benedryl ..

 

But, again.. You may have it all work out like a well formed plan.. And be able to sleep at night knowing the kids are getting needed attention. And you did your civic duty, and what is required of you from the BSA youth protection policy..

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Let me see if I have this straight: You DON'T want this man to be a den leader, but you don't want the pack to turn him down, you want the pack to approve him but then have the council turn him down so he will keep his kids in your pack so you can "keep an eye" on them to see if they are being abused?

 

Wow. Very creative. One might even say Machiavellian.

 

But there are two issues here, and you need to keep them separate. One issue is, should this person be a den leader. That is a decision to be made (at least formally, though others may have input) by the COR and CC, who sign leadership applications before they go to council. If "you" (meaning the COR and CC) do not believe he would be a suitable leader, you don't sign the application and you appoint someone else as den leader. I do not think you should "pass the buck" to council, first because it's the wrong thing to do if you don't want him as a leader, and second because you really don't know what will happen to the application if it goes to council. Maybe when he mentioned his criminal conviction to someone, he didn't mention that he is in the process of having the conviction expunged from his record (a legal process available in the majority of (and maybe all) states, though it's not an easy process and not always available depending on the circumstances of the case), so by the time he fills out the application he won't even have to put that down, and it won't show up on the official background check. (I realize that's a stretch, but the point is, anything is possible.) So, YOU (meaning the appropriate people in the unit) need to make this decision.

 

And then the second issue is, do you have a reasonable suspicion that this person has abused or neglected his children? If so, you report him, if not, you don't. Only you can decide that based on what you see and hear. But using the BSA leadership selection process to keep the kids in a position where you can "keep an eye on them", that just doesn't seem right.

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