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Beavah

What is hazing?

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Yah, I reckon it once again is one of those things, eh? I've seen Asperghers Syndrome lads who did just fine with da singing thing. When it's a standard procedure that they have watched and seen and become accustomed to, it made some otherwise shy lads feel like one of the guys. They sang, others joined in or laughed with 'em and cheered. Worked fine.

 

All things in balance.

 

B

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This discussion is not "diluted to the point if being irrational." humiliation by definition is based on how someone feels and is therefore completely dependent on the person being humiliated.

 

The victim, not the perpetrators, are the judge of that.

 

Beavah talks about balance, but you cannot know the right balance if you do not know the person, and the whole issue of knowing the person was NEVER a part of this discussion, which started with what defines hazing in a legal sense, and which made blanket statements about singing and other things.

 

So if you are only concerned with a legal definition, ya, just keep doing what yeh be doing, en so? But if yeh really care about da boys you might want to consider a little broader definition.

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Well I somewhat disagree 83Eagle

.

 

While I wholeheartedly agree that a legal definition is lacking as Ic can exclude what is hazing by technicalities...and it also can include a too braod a definition by technicallity only.......

 

I do not think the vitems feelings alone are the set standard for what hazing is.

 

Why? Because not everybody is te same or feels the same.

 

And yeah, I do think we should look at the individuals reactions and feelings before we do something that might embarass them or hurt and humiliate them....but I do not even begin to think that we should let that one person's feelings set the standard fopr everybody else.

 

That's where all this trouble starts in the first place doiesn't it?

 

If somebody is a class clown, and loves the attention...they don't care what it takes to get it. They will even do stuff that might be humiliating by the other boys standards.

 

So which set you go with? Do we decide everybody should be fime with doing "X" just because scout Johnnny is and has no feaf of anything as long as he gets attention? Or do we decide that nobody can do "Y" because scout Timmy is a bashfull kid and any type of audience will cause him to be embarassed and to feel humiliation?

 

I have boys in my pack that will absolutely refuse to stand up and do a skit for fear that they will embarass themselves, and when their whole den lines up on pack nights to get awards, a few will get their awrd, turn red in the face and sit down after recieving it while the rest will stand until the whole den is done.

 

Some boys are terrified at the idea of performing in a skit in front of their den - much less the entire pack, while others will do anything ...anything at all just to be able to perform and get aplause.

 

"The victim, not the perpetrators, are the judge of that.

 

I disagree. While the victem should be a substantial part of the consideration of whether you should persue what you are planning on doing...they cannot be the sole judge.

 

Again, the instigators intentions are the bigger judge.

 

Maybe I had great and nobile intentions, but things didn't turn out the way I wanted. Maybe I just made a big freakin mistake. Maybe I read the victim wrong?

 

It doesn't mean I was doing something bad, it just means I screwed up and things ended up differently than intended.

 

But supposiong I did have malicous intent and my purpose was to cause humiliation, embarassment and anguish.

 

It's a big difference.

 

 

For example: I could make an announcement during the middle of a pack meeting athat out COR just had a birthday, and that we were planning on having a cake, but due to firecode, some new act by Dept of Homeland security , etc... that we couldn't buy that many candles at one time.

 

And our COR would smile from ear to ear and shoot a snappy comeback right at me.

 

He's the type to enjoy that and laugh it up because he knows that we rfeally think of him as a co leaders and part of our family insterad of some formal stuffy position of higher authority in the pack.

 

But you know what......we have a few women committee members who would be not only horrified if I did tat to then, but might even run out of the room and be AWOL for a month or to afterwards.

 

 

So..I would not let that woman say I was hazing her. But I would immediatlt agree thatr what I di in good faith of having fun, and what I did with noble intentions was in fact, a big screw up and error on my part. I would readily admit that things did not go the way I planned and I would apologize without hesitation to her for embarassing her.

 

But just because she didn't like what I did or feel awesome because of it does not make it hazing in any shape way or form.

 

 

 

 

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The OT dealt with the expanding leagal definition of hazing and I have no comment on that. My comments only relate to the cavalier attitude on the expanded issues that came up.

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Yah, da only cavalier attitude I've noticed is da few folks who seem willing to throw around serious allegations like "emotional abuse" without stoppin' to think.

 

Most folks, includin' myself, have been in Scoutfish's camp.

 

We feel that the intent of the leader and the general group dynamic and norms matter, in addition to how a person takes any particular activity. A lad can be upset and tearful because he's been deliberately targeted for meanness, or because he hasn't figured out da social dynamic yet and is uncomfortable, or because the leader(s) misjudge his preparedness/willingness/personality, or because he just has some growing up to do.

 

But none of that amounts to hazing or abuse. And just because I'm not willing to jump on the bandwagon of extreme and hurtful rhetoric doesn't mean that I don't care about kids. It just means I also care about adults and other good folks, eh? Can yeh imagine what it does to the life of a scouter to be unjustly accused of "emotionally abusing" a boy? How utterly devastating that can be to him/her, his spouse, his family, his livelihood and reputation?

 

Now, what some folks are pointing out is that a scouter who uses extreme and hurtful rhetoric like "abuse" might be being deliberately hurtful, or might not understand da real definitions or be using 'em in a different way, or might come from a group with a social dynamic that uses a lot of extreme rhetoric socially and not realize how others might take an allegation of abuse, or might be projecting some of his/her own issues onto the lads (that was Mrs. Beavah's reaction), or might be accurately describing real abuse.

 

If we truly believe that da truth always lies with how the "victim" perceives it, then those adults who have used such rhetoric and hurt a fellow scouter should pay damages and be removed from scouting. Same if we believe that the perceptions of a youth "victim" are what counts.

 

But I reckon most of the time the reality is less extreme, and things are better approached by maintaining a balanced perspective, and assumin' the best of people rather than the worst. And part of that means avoiding unnecessary extreme rhetoric that implies genuine criminality since that just gums up the works. Far better to say "Yah, George, can we think through this singing thing? It doesn't seem like it's workin' the way we want" than to say "George, you're hazing and abusing defenseless children!".

 

We are called to both Justice and Compassion, eh? And even as compassion requires us to care for a lad whose feelings are hurt, justice requires us not to treat that as the sole factor in our decision making.

 

Beavah

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83Eagle,

 

I suppose I focused most of my attention on where yop said :

"The victim, not the perpetrators, are the judge of that."

 

But I agree where you are saying:

 

"But if yeh really care about da boys you might want to consider a little broader definition."

 

But it goes broader both ways. Broader in what hazing is, but also broader in what hazing isn'

 

I mean, just look at PETA: They do great styuff and it's for a noble cause, but the get carried to far away.

 

They consider cathing fish for consumtion to be abuse. They consider raisning chickens for cunsumption as abuse too.

 

In PETA eyes, I can go to the beach, catch a fish, take ity home and clean it and I am on the same level as the guy who tosses dynamight into a river for kicks. I am considered the same as a guy who takes a shotgun and wastes chickens for the sport of it.

 

They do not see the difference of me taking only what I need when I need it, and using it all without waste.

 

Granted, PETA is not the so called victim, but they claim to speak for the victim.

 

But wouldn't yopu agree that the intent and reason behind the action does make a huge difference?

 

Fishing just to catch them becaue you can versus fishing for substanance.

 

Intent trumps a standrd braod blanket definition. WEther or not the victim understands the intent changes nothing about why the "agressor" acted.

 

anyways, I'd hate to see a well intentiond person who was only trying to bolster a freindship by having what he thought was a fun thing to do..be labeled and outcast as a hazer and an abuser .

 

 

 

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I actually had this happen to me at my IOLS training! I was carrying a small flashlight clipped to my belt. The clip slipped and without knowing it, the flashlight fell off my belt (I was hauling a cooler at the time so I was a bit distracted). I noticed it was missing and went looking for it. Unable to find it outside after re-tracng steps, I went to the SM to ask if anyone had found it. Well, sure enough, one of the other trainess walking behind me had picked it up and turned it in to the SM running the training.

 

So the SM kept it and told me he'd get it back to me later. I'm pretty laid back so I agreed wondering what sort of lesson this would illustrate. During the meeting he brought it to everyone's attention and asked me to sing for it. I'm really not a "singing" guy. My mind was a bit blank and I really had no clue what song to come up with (I'm also new to scouting so wasn't aware of the "tradition"). At any rate, one of my patrol members saved me by getting me started on a song.

 

Embarassing? Yeah. Hazing? Naw, I don't think so. However, it just seemed a bit childish as opposed to "did anyone drop this flashlight?". We're talking about COURTESY right? I don't think I'm going to make that part of my troop but I think it is a stretch to call it hazing.

 

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I was an older Scout at a camporee, maybe 1968. I told two younger Scouts to go get some Green Lantern oil. So, 10 minutes latter, here they come, with sandwich bags containing about a tablespoon of GREEN LANTERN OIL. So, I heartily congratulate them. I go off on a search. I see a parade of young Scouts, all holding little bags of lantern oil. I trace it to a Troop campsite. I congratulate the man I see stitting by a jug of green oil, on great foresight. He tells me "I have a left-handed smoke bender, too!" He shows me a sheet metal and stove pipe...Left handed smoke bender. In another post, I'll relate how my buddies and I actually caught a snipe.

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Jay K

 

So, according to the current thought, not only were you guilty of hazing, but so was the guy with the oil and metal. Shame. (;-}

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