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SMDonHall

Bullying

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Lots of good stuff here. I wanted to support a couple things mentioned.

 

First, the parents have got to know their sons behavior in your troop. My scouts learned quickly that whether the news was good or bad, the parents got a report of their behavior after outings. It wasn't hard for me, I enjoy bragging to parents about their sons after outings. Once in a while the news wasn't so good.

 

While I think it is our job to judge behavior (good or bad), we are not expected to implement change ourselves. The parents are a part of your team and usually they do a really good job without you having to get pointed.

 

I never asked a single family to leave the troop, but I did ask a few to choose helping their son change his behavior, or look for another troop. A few choose to leave.

 

I only had trouble with one parent and he was an ASM in the troop. We didn't have a good relationship, so I picked someone he trusted to explain the problem.

 

Second, I also agree that in this world today, bullying is a broad term used in many situations that really don't deserve it. Be careful not to make a bigger deal about an incident than is required. I just may be a difference in cultures. I had this same problem with cussing. Some boys come from families that except cussing as a part of their communication and don't understand why some people are offended by certain words. They are not purposly trying to hurt other scout with cussing.

 

What scouts have to learn is that while they may not have meant harm, they did create it and they have to step back when they see that. The Friendly Courteous Kind part of the Scout Law is different for everyone one, but each individuallity has to be respected for their interpretation. The scout law is about serving others and serving others is the opposite of hurting or offending. It isn't that hard once you get the scout to understand that is how you will judge their behavior toward others.

 

Good luck with this. I think it will be a good lesson on being a better SM. What ever you do, you will learn from it for the next time.

 

Barry

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The replies to this thread to address this issue with the scouts and parents have been excellent. Don't forget to document everything you do during this process, though.

 

Having gone through this a couple of times, I found it important to keep a trail of what had been done. Make sure any meeting involving a scout that might eventually result in a suspension or removal are documented in a follow-up email to the parents and CC. Describe what occurred and what steps were taken, and keep a file on the scout.

 

This serves not only to make it clear what has already been done if the parents or scout question a punishment, but it also gives you something to pass on to the next SM so they aren't starting from scratch.

 

If the scout turns things around, you can throw the file away.

 

Don

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