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shortridge

Pushups

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The Troop I joined in 1975 had us do discplinary exercises like that. I wouldn't do anything like that these days.

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No. A "do we need to discuss this with your parents?" has been good enough for most purposes.

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Discipline without learning is bullying.

 

I would find it difficult to accept any adult doing this to a scout and would consider it hazing/bullying if it came from a scout.

 

Stosh

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So, if the Troops idea of discipline is asking the trangressor to snap off 20 pushups, you could end up in a situation where the guys who can snap off a sprightly 20 pushups in almost no time are allowed to be total jerks because they can do the punishment with little effect while the less muscle massed see they have to develop muscle so they can be jerks as well.

 

What lesson is learned again?

 

The discipline meted out should effect everyone the same.

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Yah, I'm sure this thread will generate all kinds of heat and break into camps and such.

 

I think what shortridge is talkin' about little tricks and techniques to help boys focus or respond to simple misbehaviors that don't merit calling parents or even a "talking to". What in da real world we call civil infractions, eh? Minor stuff like parking tickets. Every community has its minor infractions. Mostly in scouts such stuff is dealt with by the PL without adult help, but the PL needs some techniques. Sometimes, for things like mild bad language, yeh just need somethin' to call boys' attention to it because it's become so ordinary in their regular life.

 

Now there is some merit to havin' a system that everyone understands and buys into for such things. Demerits, tardy slips in school, etc. Pushups can be that in some troops. It's just ordinary, eh? A half-fun, half-inconvenient thing to call attention to your behavior. These days, though, the low fitness level for many boys makes such physical tasks not as useful, because for those boys it's a much bigger deal, eh? Too big a deal and too embarrassing to be useful for some minor offense.

 

So while there's some merit to a standard system, I think a far better way to go is to tailor responses to each individual boy. For some boys who are healthy and energetic, havin' 'em run works just fine to call attention to a minor behavior, and has the double benefit of letting 'em burn off some of the energy that caused da behavior in the first place. Particularly when they just downed two gallons of caffeinated sodapop from da camp store. ;) For other boys, yeh have to do somethin' else, like they have to surrender three Magic cards from their deck that you choose at random. :)

 

The question should always be whether a particular response is the right one for a particular boy for a particular act at a particular time. Yeh can adjust the number of pushups to make the level of effort the same between boys fairly easily, to avoid what OGE is talkin' about, or even better change the task entire to to make it equivalent.

 

Think about the boy, first and always. If yeh do that, yeh won't go far wrong.

 

Beavah

(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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Most states regard exercise for disciplinary reasons a form of corporal punishment. Ordering scouts to do pushups or run laps as punishment is illegal. Even is you are not prosecuted criminally, you risk liability in a civil action.

 

If I saw a scouter doing that to a scout, I would intervene to stop the action and then seek to have the scouter's membership discontinued.

 

There's no place for that type of bullying and abuse in our program.

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"Drop and give me 20" is not much of a trick or technique for handling a "civil infraction". We all know what's going on with someone in authority ordering pushups. Think power. Think control. Yeah, it is what it is. Archaic.

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Yah, hmmm... Well, that didn't take long. :p

 

We all know what's going on with someone in authority ordering pushups. Think power. Think control.

 

Yah, what do yeh think any form of discipline is, FScouter? It's someone in authority exercising control, eh? A parent grounding a boy or sending him to bed without supper, a school teacher issuing a detention, a coach benching a player, an organization makin' a lad fill out a 20+ page project workbook to get an award. All of 'em are an authority exercising power and control.

 

Da question is whether the authority is being wise in each case so as to do a good job of helpin' the lad learn and the community improve.

 

 

Most states regard exercise for disciplinary reasons a form of corporal punishment. Ordering scouts to do pushups or run laps as punishment is illegal.

 

Can yeh name even one state where that is actually true, rdclements, with appropriate citations? I reckon it would land every sports coach in jail. ;) Me thinks you're a bit out there in left field past da bleachers. Much as I'm fond of da law, not everything falls under its purview.

 

I also think we have to be a bit more circumspect about callin' things "abuse". Real child abuse is a truly awful, hideous thing. We do a disservice to those children when we deliberately mischaracterize ordinary stuff as being the same thing.

 

Beavah

(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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Several posters in the original thread mentioned talking out of turn, not keeping hands to themselves, forgetting Handbooks and namecalling. I guess that's what I was talking about.

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Yah, rdclements, let me respond just briefly and then let's let this thread go back to shortridge's original intent, which I think was more of a poll.

 

An attorney general's opinion is a form of advisory statement by the chief law enforcement officer of a state. It offers guidance that can be used until actual case law gets made through prosecution or litigation. It's written in legalese, eh? So yeh have to be alert for terms of art and da usual circumlocutions common in da legal profession. :)

 

The California statutes referred to prohibit corporal punishment in schools. So we start right off by knowning they do not apply to Scouting in any event, except perhaps in da rare circumstance that a unit is actually chartered by a school. Even then, scouting would appear to fall under da statutory exemption for a recreational activity voluntarily engaged in by the pupil.

 

Then da AG points out that the core issue in the statute is inflicting pain, eh? Whether somethin' inflicts pain is of course a question of fact for a trial court, not somethin' that can be ruled on as a matter of law. So the issue would be whether a jury of reasonable folks actually believe that makin' a boy do a dozen pushups is "inflicting pain" within the meaning of da statute, and the AG quite properly refrains from offerin' any guidance. He suggests that there could be circumstances where exercise rises to meet that threshold, but if yeh are used to readin' such things he's also implying that in most cases it would not. Given that California like many states uses boot camps that use exercise as punishment as part of youth diversionary programs, I reckon it's reasonable to assume that prohibiting such activity on a general basis did not fall within da legislative intent.

 

So no, I don't honestly believe this is a matter of law in any jurisdiction in da U.S. That doesn't mean that it's appropriate, eh? Lots of stuff that isn't appropriate doesn't rise to da threshold of being legal matters. I think yeh can make a good case for this stuff being inappropriate for your unit or for Scouting in general without invokin' da law.

 

Now back to shortridge's thread.

 

Beavah

 

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Whether such opinions apply to schools only or beyond, the part that caught my eye was the AG suggesting that one could be sued. The fundamental question is whether ordering such activity as a form of punishment is appropriate. So let's look at something opther than the classroom teacher situation.

 

Some would say that this is an accepted practice because thats how sports coaches do it. But that type of coaching is not acceptable anymore. The National Association for sport and Physical Education is a non-profit that sets standard practices for sports and physical education. Their statement is: Administering or withholding physical activity as a form of punishment and/or behavior management is an inappropriate practice.

http://www.aahperd.org/naspe/standards/upload/Physical-Activity-as-Punishment-to-Board-12-10.pdf

 

OK, but that's sports, and it doesn't apply to us. So, what does the BSA say about it? From GTSS: Discipline used in Scouting should be constructive and reflect Scoutings values. Corporal punishment is never permitted. and The BSA does not permit the use of corporal punishment by unit leaders when disciplining youth members.

 

Then you get into the discussion about whether this is corporal punishment or not. FScouter is correct - it's about power. Bullying has no place in Scouting.

 

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>

 

 

Doesn't really seem to be "corporal punishment."

 

 

I don't consider such punishment to be degrading.

 

Think of it as "company punishment," informal punishment that doesn't involve formal findings of wrong doing that a court martial would in the military (or a complaint to parents).

 

I might consider giving Scouts a choice for minor misbehavior:

 

Do twenty pushups or go home and we'll discuss this matter with your parents.

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"... to keep myself physically fit ..."

 

We could see this discipline as a way of offering a boy an opportunity to work on part of the scout oath because the poor lad was having trouble with "mentally awake" or "morally straight."

 

Heck, we could say forcing boys to sit and listen for one more hour (without electronics ;) ) at the end of a school day is the true hazing, and granting an ADD kid the opportunity to knock off a few reps that he should be doing in terms of personal fitness anyway is a recognition of the boys needs.

 

Like I said, not something we do in our troop for a kid talking out of line. For one thing, whatever the boy missed while running would have to be repeated. But, if your boys are comfortable with it and you're positive and encouraging regardless, I don't see the harm.

 

I do see this fitting the style of a young SM more-so than an older one. (For me, I'd be really nervous if something slipped and it was me who had to drop and give 20 in front of the boys.)

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