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how would your troop handle a rumor of a bisexual scout?

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I'm a bit afraid of typing too much info about a minor's sexuality.


However, I'm not comfortable with SM and 4 ASM blindsiding a 17 year old Life Scout with a half hour grilling about the rumor of his sexuality. 5 adults against 1 scout. really?


The rest of the troop sits outside the scoutmaster's office waiting for them to come out so we can do Troop elections.


I'm very uncomfortable with the idea of these 5 adults saying to a scout "We are investigating your sexuality." The adults are also going to "make sure" the Scout hasn't done or said inappropriate things to other scouts on campouts. The Scout was told he could not be SPL or ASPL until his name is cleared.


The Scout's parents weren't notified of this meeting. At 17 years old, he comes to meetings without his mommy and daddy.


My son was afraid for his friend last night. Even though the Scout told my son not to tell anyone what went on in the meeting, My son called the Scout's mom last night to check on him when he wouldn't return txts. He told her to talk to her son about what happened in the meeting. She said they were just in a big family meeting about it and trying to figure out what they should do next.


I'm glad he checked on his friend and told the mom enough info to be concerned because teenagers might consider suicide when stuff like this comes down on them.


I understand that BSA is against homosexuals and bisexuals, so this boy's continuing BSA membership and chance at finishing his Eagle are in jeopardy.



youth protection boundaries anyone? how can an adult investigate a minor's sexuality?


If the SM has any reports that the scout did something inappropriate to another scout, that should already be reported to CPS.


I'm just at a loss.

This boy is a friend of my son for the last 4 or 5 years. They tented together for 4 weeks straight this summer. My son worries that if the "troop adults think he's gay or bi, where does that put their opinion of me since I slept with him for a month?" I advised my son that he perhaps shouldn't phrase it like that. ;)



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how can an adult investigate a minor's sexuality?


Why do you feel its necessary to do so?


The Scout was told he could not be SPL or ASPL until his name is cleared.


Cleared of what, exactly?


If the SM has any reports that the scout did something inappropriate to another scout, that should already be reported to CPS.


True, inappropriate and illegal behavior is a legitimate concern. Is there any indication that there has been any inappropriate behavior, or is your leadership just out on a witch hunt?


Sounds like your troop's adult leadership overstepped their boundaries by an extreme amount. I'm not sure what your CO's opinion of the matter would be, but I'd definitely advise your COR and IH as to what some of your adult leaders are up to.


Maybe there's more to the story here, but based only on what's been written it sounds like the situation has been handled extremely inappropriately by the troop.


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Hopefully, that Scout runs away from that troop before he gets the hot needle, burning cigarettes and thumbscrews.


As a parent, I can say definitively that I would rip all the involved adults a new one if anything close to that happened to my kid.


Unfortunately, your son should probably expect "guilt by association" some time soon.




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I think I might want to ask the leadership if they were aware of any inappropriate heterosexual things done or said by any Scouts to any other Scouts on campouts.

How do they respond to insults to moms and sisters?


Is there a supporting philosophy of the CO?


""if the SM has any reports that the scout did something inappropriate to another scout, that should already be reported to CPS. ""

Agree... and to the parents...


Might be time to find another Troop.



Any other stones to be cast, anyone?

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Well I certainly wouldn't have handled it the way these 5 adult jerks did (and does anyone want to challenge my characterization of these guys as jerks? Trust me when I say, that's pretty mild compared to what I'd like to characterize these jerks as).


I know exactly what I would be doing if I were the parent - I would be in front of the sponsor demanding that these knuckleheads apologize to my son and be removed from the unit, forever. I would be contacting the SE demanding that these jerks be removed from Scouting forever. I would be in front of an attorney preparing to sue the pants off these jerks on the grounds of emotional stress for opening up this little "investigation". I would be in front of a judge getting a restraining order against these jerks to keep him away from my son, and keep them from continuing this witchhunt. And because I can be a mean and spiteful person, I would be contacting their employers to let them know that these jerks are showing an inappropriate interest in the sexuality of my son. I'd be scorching the earth in and around this Troop right now, until these so-called leaders were never let near another Scout and were hopefully cowering in their crawlspaces, afraid to come out and face the community.


Bottom line, rumors of the sexuality of any Scout should never - let me repeat - NEVER - be addressed by Unit Leaders in any way, shape, or form - unless there is direct testimony by a Scout of inappropriate behavior directed toward them by another Scout.


The jerks have to go - and they have to go now - not in a month, not in a year - now. Had this kid committed suicide, the parents would have been devastated and had no idea why their son committed suicide (and good on your son for doing the right thing - sometimes loyalty means not acquiescing to a friends request) and these jerks would have, in my opinion, been guilty of committing murder.



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To describe the situation, as reported, as inappropriate is the understatement of the year.


I understand that BSA is against homosexuals and bisexuals

This is an oversimplification.  The BSA's position, as it related to youth is more nuanced that that. However, there is no reasonable interpretation of the policy that would authorize the type of inquisition that is described here. The idea of five adults, in a closed room, confronting a 17 year old about rumors concerning his sexuality (especially in light of the fact that there appear to be no allegations of improper behavior in a scouting context), is beyond the pale.

Frankly, this inquisition, as described, borders on sexual harassment itself. I can't imagine what would make any leader that it is part of his job to inquire into the sexuality of a youth member. While there may not be anything in the YP guidelines directly addressing this, perhaps that is because one cannot foresee such outrageous conduct. However, I did find this, under the definition of sexual harassment, in BSA's YP guide for camp leadership:


Sexual harassment occurs when a member of the camp staff uses verbal or nonverbal communication to create a hostile environment by focusing on the sexuality of another person or the persons gender, and the attention is unwanted or unwelcome and is severe or pervasive enough to affect a persons work environment.

I recognize that this addresses conduct toward staff members, but if such conduct would be inappropriate between camp staff members, I can't understand how it could be appropriate between leaders and youth. If it were me, I would be going directly to the SE's desk with this.


The rest of the troop sits outside the scoutmaster's office

Your troop has an office for the SM?

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I've had some experience on this matter, so the questions I ask are based on this expereince.


1) How did the rumor get started?


Did the scout say something publically, or post something publically? has some else published something? Did he do something that may be construed as being gay? I ask because I know a young man who was accused of being gay by his peers due to someone running into the shower area, taking pictures while running through, and then posting the pictures everywhere. I know a second young man accused of being bisexual because he wore an earring. And I also know of one person who came out of the closet by posting it on facebook.


2) Did another scout accuse the first one of inappropriate behavior? Unfortunately I've seen this happen, one scout accused of propositioning another scout. Second scout a little reluctant to mention it b/c he didn't know if the first scout was joking or not. But there were some rumors about the first scout. The proposition, while possibly being a joke, definately made the first scout uncomfortable and was reported.


How did things work out.


In the situation with the photos, while rumors persisted, they did go away. Nothing happened to the victim, and unfortunately nothing happened to the person who ran into the shower area b/c they were never identified.


Nothing happened to earring scout. Got his Eagle, got a good job, married and has a daughter (so that answers that question since we know what daughters are: God's punishment for being a teenage male ;) )


In the situation with the person who came out on facebook, he his membership was revoked. But he was an adult with a troop and a youth with a crew.


In the last situation it got interesting. While rumors abounded about the first scout being gay, there was no proof. He did not leave summer camp staff until the second scout also on staff mentioned the proposition to an adult staffer he knew and trusted. Again the second scout couldn't tell if it was a joke or not, but it made him uncomfortable and he told me about it. I reported it to the CD, and the first scout was quietly dismissed from staff since it was a matter of "He said, he said."


I do not know anything else that happened or was done, except the first scout was not allowed to be on staff the following year. When it was brought to the attention of the Director of Support Services that the first Scout was about to be rehired for summer camp, the DSS told the CD not to hire him.


As to what should have been done with your son's friend. I think the following. Unless there was an accussation, or some type of public comment, nothing should have occured. If something did happen, i.e. public statement or accusation, it should have been handled very, very privately by the SE, not the unit leaders.

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COR was present and knew that the 5 people took the Scout into the scoutmaster's office and closed the door and had a conversation. I know he had heard the rumor, so he may be in the know as to how they agreed to handle this. CC came in at the end of the meeting to pass off the Eagle paperwork for his son, he's quitting and a committee was discussing new CC to take over next week. IH is out of the state/ineffective/absent leadership.


The scoutmaster had called the other boys who were thinking of SPL position with 1 ASM present I think. Then they called in the scout and invited in the room full of adults to grill the scout.


I was outside at this point. When I came inside everyone was trying to keep busy talking about upcoming stuff, making announcements, tapping their toes and waiting since the theme of the evening was troop elections and key persons were locked in the room and elections could not continue until they came out.


The scoutmaster's office is usually just a desk and filing cabinet for storage of rank badges, medical forms and applications and such. scoutmaster might do a scoutmaster conference in the scoutmaster office just so they can hear if the main room is too loud, but the door stays open. sometimes I think that's a bit too private, but people are always sticking their head in the door to get stuff out of the scoutmaster's office.


I would like the scouting world to stop. I want to get off. this is not fun.


I guess I should call the scout's mom and see what she thinks and help her figure out what to do next.

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I think this is the most barbaric, unacceptable, bullish, disgusting, and despicable thing I have EVER EVER EVER heard adult scouters do to a child. And yes, that boy at 17 may be on his way to manhood, but he is still a CHILD.


What Calico said, that is EXACTLY what I do. I try very hard not be a vindictive person, but for sure they would rue the day they even thought of conducting that kind of inquisition. I hope this becomes public. I hope their reputations get ruined and they never ever ever don that uniform again.



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What was the basis of the Inquisition anyway? Rumors? From where?


What does the Guide to Safe Scouting say?


Notify your Scout executive of this report, or of any violation of BSAs Youth Protection policies, so that he or she may take appropriate action for the safety of our Scouts, make ppropriate notifications, and follow-up with investigating agencies.


Then again, if there was no youth protection policy violation, why the Inquisition? The prurientcy shown by the adults is unsettling to say the least. If there is an issue that needs to be reported, then it gets reported according to the Guide to Safe Scouting, if there is nothing to report, then guess what there is nothing to report

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Yea I have to agree with most of the posters here, there is never a reason to have an Inquistion of a boy like that under any circumstances, especially when they have NO evidence of any kind that the rumor is even true.


As far as going to the SE & IH and having these leaders thrown out of scouting while it is appropriate the publicity it may cause could result in a very embarrassing situation for the boy. To be brutally honest the SE would be more concerned with losing a unit than the welfare of the boy in this situation. In any case the bigger stink that is raised the more likely it is that this issue would be made public, and that could do even worse damage than has already been done to the boy. My suggestion is that the CO quietly get the SM to step down or tell him they will remove him , and the ASM's be told what they did was wrong and probably illegal, as they may have been forced into this meeting by the SM, then give them the option to step down or as a group apologize to the boy and offer to make things right. The more private this is kept the better off the boy will be. It is really sad IMO that there are scout leaders like this who pledge to help kids and live by the scout oath and law but in reality are little better than vigilantes and bullys.

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Frankly, this inquisition, as described, borders on sexual harassment itself. I can't imagine what would make any leader that it is part of his job to inquire into the sexuality of a youth member.


Fantastic comments, all, additional kudos on your son. I truly hope he gets no spin off effect for being a good friend.


How dare these adults do this to a young man. Ill never understand why some adult leaders think they are trial judge and jury in areas they have no authority. Where was the accusation? What were they basing all this upon? Unless there was a solicitation/incident or outright statement from the young man, there is nothing to do here. And if there were, the YP training certainly specifies what they should have done in contrast to this. Im not a lawsuit kind of guy, but agree with Calico, there should be some serious heads rolling over this.


This is bad for the unit, for Scouting, and certainly this young man. I might go to the CC first, but getting the SE involved would be a fast coming on my phone call list.


And we wonder why we get bad press on the 3Gs.


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Simply appalling behavior,


I try to treat the boys like (potential) Gentlemen and there are some discussions that are clearly inappropriate. I really do not want to know about their sexuality, period. If there was one boy saying that another boy approached him than that is the time for the SM to step in and earn his pay. If there was contact, then bingo, we are in another territory. That SM should have kicked everyone else out, called a parent and had a discussion privately if at all. All those ASM's seems like a lynching.


This is such a slippery slope in so many ways. How many folks are confused about their sexuality at that age one way or another. What if he declared he was straight but liked to dress up in woman's clothes? Would that be OK? I have known effeminate men who were straight and gay men who were tough outdoorsman; short of direct-and I mean really direct, evidence how could anyone make that determination.


We had a much smaller controversy over a proposed double entendre Patrol name. Some parents freaked over it and the other parents freaked over the fact the other parents were objecting. Nearly tore the Troop apart. I handled it poorly. These things need to be done with sensitivity if done at all.

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IH is definitely not going to reply to a request by me--they have gone thru bankruptcy and mostly speak Japanese now(international arm of the business isn't bankrupt just yet).


The more I think of this, I think they are running an investigation. it may be alleged abuse, or it may be just checking to be sure there isn't any abuse.


The rumor started at scout camp where a bunch of the troop boys were working this summer. Lots of pretty girls working there, so the competition of boys for girl attention was a bit much. So to limit the field of competition, there was a bit of Oh you don't need to pay attention to this scout or that Scout cause he's gay. may have started as just a joke, but over and over and over and then they keyed in on how much it botherred the Scout in question. So they did it more, and it reached rumor stage. whispering did you hear Scout is gay?


My son says he yelled at one of the bullies one day after hearing them talking about him in the laundry room, "I'm not gay, I'm bisexual" [insert other colorful language here]


Shut the bullies up, they just could not think of what to say about that and the bullying stopped. He had previously told his mom about the bullying and the camp staff but nobody did anything. not the best way to deal with it, but he's a kid and kids do stupid **** .


One scout picks up on this and starts telling a few people when they get back home from working on staff that Scout admitted that he's bisexual to him personally at camp. so then the facebook picture from halloween where the Scout is wearing black fingernail polish is "proof." And anything scout may have done over the last few months gets viewed with that filter that he's a deviant.


I have to make a phone call or two. I think this is going to blow up. It won't be anythig quietly taken care of without hamr to the Scout.


COR knew the rumor. He's potentially the one, or his son is the one who told the SM about it and convinced him to investigate.



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