Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Falterturm

Scout expelled

Recommended Posts

Hi,

 

My Troop recently made the decision to expell a Scout from the Troop. The boy had alledgedly made comments about past behavior relating to past drug use and other innapropriate activities. One parent in the Troop heard about these comments and approached the Troop Committee and made a case for removing the boy. Some information appears to be misrepresented, as threats by the boy were implied, and now the scouts that heard the comments cannot first hand provide any accounts that fit the allegations, just second hand gossip. The committee was told the boy had made threats against boys, but no boy has come forward with actual events.

 

Additionally, the events DID NOT occur at any Scouting related events, but at school. The father of the boy was asked in for a discussion about the accusations, but was only offered one date, which conflicted with a prior engagement. When he asked for another date, he was told by the Charter rep that he a was sorry he was not co-operating and his son was OUT.

 

While a discussion was supposed to take place, the adult that brought the allegations forward told several adults that the committee had made the decision to expell the boy DAYS before the meeting was scheduled with the parent. This seems highly innapropriate- the boy had no opportunity to defend himself against the allegations. Also as mentioned, the events were alleged to have occurred OUTSIDE of Scouting.

 

The school was also involved by the same accusing parent, and they did there own independent inquiry into the events and came up blank, no threats, etc. after talking with the boys involved. No inquiry was done by the Troop, just the allegations of one parent and his son. And the allegations by his son ONLY include discussion of past drug use and innapropriate behavior, no threats. The Committee was told that the boy in question told someone he would "beat their ass", but now nobody knows who he said this to, or when. No boys made this allegation.

 

This stinks to me. As an adult leader I am concerned by the way this was handled. This Scout is a little off-beat, peircings etc. so I feel that it is about appearances and prejudice, not real danger to any other boys.

 

Does anyone have any feedback on this? The parent of the accused boy has filed a complaint with the Council, and it looks like our Troop is about to be the subject of an investiqation, maybe even legal action.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Falter,

 

Sorry to hear about your problems.

 

I think you will read many answers that speak to the appropriateness of expelling a Scout based on hearsay, rumors, and second hand info. I'd like to take a different angle.

 

We have had two intances when expulsion was a reasonable course to take. In both instances, after we considered whether the facts warranted that action, we considered what effect the expulsion would have if we followed through, and what effect not expelling the Scout would have if we didn't.

 

In both of our cases, we determined that there was far more value to be had for both the Scout, AND his fellow Scouts, by postponing the decision until a much later date. By expelling the boy, he loses what might be the only positive role models and program he has. And the other Scouts would lose the opportunity to deal with a difficult personality, something that few young adults have experinece with once they get into real life and find out that not everyone gets pigeon - holed like they do in school.

 

Obviously, safety must be the guiding rule. But before anyone cuts a Scout lose, please consider the unintended consequences. A boy might never get the firm but loving hand of a wise and caring Scoutmaster and other adults if he is turned loose.

 

Best of luck to you.

 

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi and welcome to the forum, sorry it has to be under these circumstances.

Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?

As Scout leaders we should try to our utmost to help those that are considered "troubled" to overcome their difficulties and be given the opportunity to develop into men of character and integrity. Many times this will not be an easy task. To simply give up and remove any Scout who doesn't meet up to peoples expectations would be tantamount to failing at our job. Quite often these are the ones who are in most need of what Scouting has to offer. IMHO expulsion should only be considered at a last drastic well-thought out measure in which no other choice was left. Then only after hearing from ALL PARTIES and involving the District Executive would this outcome happen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would open up a case against the adult that pushed this issue to investigate whether they are guilty of spreading malicious rumors and inappropriately seeking the ouster of a scout.

 

Sounds like a lot of people operating in the dark here. Time to shine the light on what really happened and the true culprit.

 

Sounds like Salem, MA - 1692.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would agree this sounds like it was handled poorly based on the information provided. However, keep in mind the Troop was fully within it's right's to expell the scout (from the Troop, not scouting.) Contrary to the belief of some there is no right of due process with respect to unit membership for scouts or scouters. Doesn't mean it's right, that's just the way it is.

 

My suggestion would be if you feel this scout was treated unfairly, would be to offer to write a letter of clarification or recommendation for him if he wanted to join another troop, if that's possible.

 

Heck, at one point in the life of the unit I serve, if we expelled every scout that threatened to beat up someone we would have expelled a third of the unit, including a couple that eventually made Eagle Scout. Even had one case earlier this year where one scout in fact did engage another scout in some hitting and shoving. At a scout meeting no less. Both were sat down, explained the expectations of scout behavior and further behavior along the lines of what they had done could include expulsion. No problems since. The mother of one of the scouts involved called the police and wanted to press assault charges on an 11 year old. The police told her to chillout, politely of course.

 

In this day and age, I would not take rumors of a threat lightly, but they should be investigated to determine how valid the threat is. Did the threat occurr? Were they just words or did the individual intend to carryout the threat?

 

Sorry to hear about this. Seems like it could have been handled better. BTW Faltertum, welcome to the Forums.

 

SA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How very sad.

How very wrong.

My $64,000 question is, who was at the meeting when the decision to expel the Scout was made?

If the CO was not aware and didn't know or agree with the decision, the committee has over-stepped their authority.

A Troop committee can recommend the removal of a Scout to the CO, but the CO has the last word.

Of course if I was the Lad there is no way I would want to return.

If I was the CO I would want the adult that brought the allegations forward (If he or she is a committee member ) removed.

Eamonn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"When he asked for another date, he was told by the Charter rep that he a was sorry he was not co-operating and his son was OUT."

 

Sounds like the COR did the expelling...

 

I agree this was handled poorly. But unfortunately, scoutingagain is correct. There is no right to membership or due process. Membership is at the pleasure of the CO, provided the member meets the minimum standards of the BSA. The only recourse would be for Council to reconsider renewing the unit charter, if that is the way the CO handles things. But I doubt that would happen....it's all about the numbers.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So this Scout was booted because of an allegation that even an independant investigation couldn't verify ever happened? This kid was railroaded! If this was my kid, I be spitting mad & demand proof the allegations were true! This is just wrong!

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Once again sorry that your start in this forum (campfire) is with this experience.

 

I have represented a scout that was up for expelsion (sp?). Not only from the troop but from scouting. Not an easy position to be in.

 

The telling voice was from our COR, "Mercy and the belief that the scout has the virtues of scouting as part of his upbringing is a important part of our decisions here." Was very important during the meeting. This scout was not one of the 'easy ones' and had earned his Eagle and is now serving in the US military. Situation not important here and at this time.

 

The urge to kick out a scout that is borderline 'scouting' is at times strong and the quick way out, but, that is the young man that scouting is designed for. Without proof, substantiated, the actions IMOH were wrong.

 

And may have completed the journey that this young man was taking in the wrong direction. My first reaction was "Ooooops, got that one wrong." Waiting to hear more information and details if possible.

 

Scouting with the 'right boys' is easy, the others are the ones we are here for.

 

yis

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Scouting with the 'right boys' is easy, the others are the ones we are here for.

 

Excellent point Red Feather.

 

Here's a similar thought from an old Scoutmaster Handbook:

 

"We Build on What We Find. It is upon what the boy brings to us, what he is and what he wants, that we must build what we hope him to be -- what he in his heart of hearts wants to be."

 

The easy ones make me feel proud, the others make me feel even prouder.

 

It's hard to understand what actually happened in this case, but it sure doesn't smell right.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey All,

 

Thanks for the replies. This is a tough situation, as the boy in question has a "checquered" past- drug use, rehab, counciling, expelled from a couple of schools..but has straightened out in my view. Sure, a little off-beat, listens to different music than most of the kids, has a couple of earrings, but really seems to be making an honest effort to leave his past behind.

 

The drug discussion came up in a campfire discussion, where the kid of the accusing parent discussed in length the drug problems of his older brother. This gave the accused boy an opportunity to reveal in (what he thought) was an open, safe environment. He was not comfortable with hiding his history, and felt safe with these boys in his patrol. Obviously, this past was revealed to a parent that flipped out, maybe because of the negative outcome of their experiences.

 

I know for a fact that the discussion was blown out of proportion, as the school could find no kids with tales as extreme or harrowing as the ones told by the accuser and his parent. Even the kids that were in the fire ring that night say, "uh, thats not what was said, exactly". But the parent in question has the undying loyalty of the Troop- former SM, current committee member, etc. This family has since withdrawn their son from all extra-curricular activities at the school that the two boys attend, and has made ugly, personal attacks in writing on the school adminstrators that did the investigation and came up blank (the accusers parent wanted the boy expelled from the school too!), claiming the school was biased towards the family of the accused boy, simply because they tried to get the facts before acting. They were entirely prepared to take action if the allegations were true, but no evidence bore out the charges. When the school suggested that the families in question meet to work it out, they became belligerent, wanting the boy expelled without even KNOWING WHO HIS ACCUSERS WERE! They lost with the school, who exercised due dilligence before acting, but won with the troop, who IMHO, screwed up royally.

 

I do not know what the real issue is, but a serious attempt was made to get this boy OUT of their sons circle at any cos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And you would think the accusing parents would be a little more understanding since it seems they have gone through the same thing.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This scout was unjustly judged and wrongly forced out of what may be the best place for him to be, a scout patrol/troop environment. Is the scouting experience only for the goody two shoes and those with unblemished "permanent records".

 

What really stinks here is that a "Hover-mother" and/or a "Fortress-father", took their suspicions along with a heaping dose of hear-say and came up with what amounts to a steaming pile of innuendo.

 

If a scout gets into trouble with drugs, we should do ALL WE CAN to retain and guide them back to the trail thats straighter and narrower.

 

I can understand removing a scout from a camp or event if he brought and used drugs, but it would demand an immediate SM Conf. as well as a review by the troop comittee and COR.

 

The only expelling should be for leaders who would bring and use drugs to a scouting event, and I especially mean the legal drug...alcohol.

 

I have heard all too often of the so-called leaders that broke out the "secret" cooler after the scouts were bedded down so they could enjoy an "adult" beverage. Any scouter who cant go without a beer for a weekend may need to talk with this fellow named Bill W.or his pal Dr. Bob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×