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cubdadinnj

Scouts with porn on campouts

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Well I'm trying to make it thru the newest Youth Protection training video, which I've now restarted 3 times after it stops and won't continue for some strange reason.

There wasn't anything I saw in the most recent video about porn viewing on a campout, but then after viewing for almost 90 minutes to finally get thru 30 minutes of it, I think I almost fell asleep thru the last bit. oops

 

 

it does cover inappropriate pictures or videos taken of someone in a restroom or perhaps changing clothes, if you find out you are supposed to confiscate the device and secure it and take it to the scout executive. you confiscate it so the inappropriate picture can't be deleted or uploaded to the internet.

 

 

That is all well and good, but I honestly don't want to confiscate some kid's iphone and take it to the scout executive. I don't have an iphone, because of the cost--certainly don't want to break someone's phone that I confiscated cause I thought they were taking inappropriate pictures. and not having a fancy phone myself I am not sure 1. how to view their pictures to see if it really was inappropriate, or 2. now I'm the one viewing child porn.... or take it to the scout executive so he can view child porn?

 

And I certainly don't want to be the person who takes action in that kind of situation and doesn't involve the parents.

 

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Is it just me or does it sound kinky that the Scout Executive is collecting all those pictures of youths?

 

Once you turn over the camera, perhaps you should call the cops and file a report about that!

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I don't see it as my job to substitute my judgment for BSAs rules.

 

Yah, hmmm....

 

I know that this thread has largely run its course, but this old furry critter feels a deep need to respond to Seattle Pioneer's claim above.

 

I fully recognize how comforting it is to some to try to hide behind "rules" or "following orders" or such. There's an extent to which it feels safe and protected, like hidin' behind mom or dad when we were young. I get that. Da world can be scary.

 

Da thing of it is, for us adults, SeattlePioneer's notion is entirely wrong from both a legal and a moral perspective. Practically speakin', it is the adult leader and not the BSA who is responsible for the kids in his or her unit. Yeh can follow every jot and tittle of da BSA "rules" and still be utterly negligent. Yeh can ignore BSA "rules" and still be completely responsible in da eyes of the community, the legal system, and da Heavenly Court.

 

Using judgment and being personally responsible is what characterizes adults, and distinguishes 'em. So as long as any of us puts ourselves forward to the community as an adult leader in a scouting program, and in the rest of our life until we are judged to be mentally incompetent, it is our duty and obligation to exercise judgment. Even more than that, I believe in a youth program like Scouting, it's our obligation to demonstrate to the lads in our care how to exercise judgment.

 

Yah, sure, that includes readin' the BSA materials, and seriously considering their guidance. Now when da fellow responsible for those materials thinks it's appropriate to wholesale copy da child labor regulations on lawn mowers into a youth service program, I'm not quite sure I would characterize that as expertise, eh? ;). So it is our obligation as responsible adults to read other genuine experts, to consult with fellow experienced scouters and consider their input, and incorporate our own personal experience and understanding of our individual communities and da chartering partners we serve.

 

Being lazy about informing ourselves is not a defense against negligence, nor is it a justification before God.

 

So in this furry fellow's view, if yeh aren't willing to live up to da obligations of an adult to exercise judgment, yeh do the youth and the program a monumental disservice.

 

As far as "plain text reading" goes, that's a legal term of art which really doesn't apply here. Da BSA program guidance is not written by folks with that sort of technical legal writing background, nor should it be because then it would be ten times longer and most folks wouldn't get it. :). Read the BSA program materials as they were intended to be read: as guidance documents to help inform your judgment as an adult leader and agent of your chartered organization.

 

Beavah

 

 

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What I see are a number of people who want to use their "judgement" as a reason to ignore the plain language of BSA Youth protection rules. I'm not using that as a legal term, I'm using it as a layman's term.

 

I would suppose that the BSA rules are designed to protect everyone involved.

 

There is a history in BSA of people ignoring risky situations they observe, and I presume the Youth protection rules are designed to mandate an alert sensitivity to possible problems and reporting them to authorities and to leaders who have the expertise to deal with them. I certainly don't have that training, experience or expertise.

 

As pointed out earlier, of course you still have to use judgement. The Sport Illustrated swimsuit issue turning up in camp is not something I would act upon.

 

Porn videos in camp seems like a pretty clear cut situation that probably requires reporting to the Scout Executive. I feel no need to use my "judgment" to excuse what I suppose is an obvious violation of YPT rules.

 

If that's too hair trigger for your taste, then get the rules changed. Scouting has suffered enough over this issue and BSA, councils and Scouters need to take steps to avoid problems and protect themselves.

 

And I can just imagine you as Plaintiff's Lawyer cross examining some Scouter who used his "judgment" to avoid reporting a problem required by YPT rules. I can imagine you putting the applicable rules in front of that hapless, foolish Scouter and asking if he was trained to follow the rule, and present his signed receipt saying that he's been trained in the rules.

 

If you are trained in a rule and sign a receipt to that effect, you had better follow it or expect to find yourself explaining why you didn't to an aggressive plaintiff's lawyer.

 

BSA has had enough of that. Councils have had enough of that and I have had enough of that.

 

We should be training Scouts that such behavior may get them in big trouble. That is a reasonable thing to do. But if they ignore that, I'm not about to cover up their foolishness.

 

I would suppose that Scout Executives, police and prosecutors have training, experience and expertise in dealing with complaints of this kind. They are better equipped to deal with such issues wisely than I am. So I would follow BSA YPT rules and give them the opportunity to decide what action, if any, is appropriate.

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Anyone wanting to report the incident described should first consider... if it was my child, would I report? The do unto others rule.

 

Personally from the situation described, I would do what did happen... confiscate the machine and give it to the parent(s). Especially since (if I recall the posts correctly) the boy was not showing material to others.

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>

 

 

Fine.

 

 

Six months later lurid newspaper stories disclose this Scout has been peddling child pornography through Scouting and you and your council are sued for damages by the families of the children pictured for negligently permitting that to occur.

 

The newspapers correctly note that this kind of behavior was brought to the attention of Scoutmaster josryan, who had been trained to report this kind of incident to police but who failed to do so.

 

The families in the newspaper article are quoted as saying "If only the Scoutmaster had followed the rules my child would never have been exploited in this way, damaging him/her for life."

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Yeah SP,

 

Shoulda, coulda, woulda....

 

Here's the thing. If you confiscate, inform the parents and maybe the camp director (if its a council ran camp), then fine. If you inform the SE over some porn found on a unit campout, its overkill.

 

If the kid is found out months later to be producing the content, then you deal with what you know about at that time!

 

You can't be blamed for not acting on what you didn't know about. Its a HUGE assumption to jump from porn (either 1-2 magizines in print, or some images on an electronic device) to a producer of under-aged smut.

 

I would suggest if that is what the youth is up to, and its not found out until later and is blamed on being overlooked when "some porn" turned up on a campout. Then your issue is not the porn, but the lack of oversight of the youth in the unit!

 

You catch a kid with a cigarette (or even a joint) on a campout. Now, I agree fully that its ground for reporting to the parents and severe unit discipline. But, I would not automatically jump to the conclusion that he is dealing drugs to all the other scouts in the unit!

 

If you make all your decisions based on the worse case senerio of what COULD happen, you'll curl up in the fetal position and never leave your home!

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And I can just imagine you as Plaintiff's Lawyer cross examining some Scouter who used his "judgment" to avoid reporting a problem required by YPT rules.

 

Yah, hmmmm....

 

Yeh know, I get da whole notion that those in the legal profession are the embodiment of all evil. Yeh can certainly point to some folks who aren't ethical, IMNSHO, and our adversarial system has its flaws. But I reckon you're lettin' your imagination or Hollywood get away from you, eh? ;)

 

Ultimately this stuff comes down to da judgment of what is reasonable by your fellow citizens. What a whole bunch of your fellow citizens are tellin' yeh is that knee-jerk reporting is not reasonable. Functionally, that means that when push comes to shove in a legal action, yeh are more likely to be found negligent for goin' off half-cocked and damaging a lad's reputation than yeh are for the reverse.

 

So from a legal perspective, I'd advise yeh to listen to your fellow citizens, eh? They're the ones who will sit in judgment.

 

If that's too hair trigger for your taste, then get the rules changed.

 

So let's try this as an exercise, eh? Write a rule that fully and accurately encompasses all of da possible permutations of this case and directs folks to respond rationally and intelligently in each permutation.

 

Yeh can't do it. Nobody can do it.

 

That's why, in all just legal systems there are provisions for equity, eh? For judgment and discretion and pardon.

 

And the BSA is not a legal system. It's just a group that puts out kids' program materials.

 

Beavah

 

 

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Beaver, the flaw in your argument is this: if a Scouter goes outside of the GSS and YP, he may not be defended by the BSA in court.

 

So the Scouter that uses his "judgement" in determining what to report or not, may well be bankrupted in the process. And found innocent. But still bankrupt.

 

 

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>

 

 

Lawyers are "the embodiment of all evil." But lawyers and the news media often work together to publicize the worst interpretation of facts.

 

Scouting has been repeatedly been plucked for cash and been held up to ridicule in the media for the actions of criminals. And all too often youth have been injured through acts of negligence or omission by BSA, councils or volunteers.

 

Those facts are telling us the job we did in the past wasn't adequate, and we have new rules that aim to do a better job. But we need to follow those rules, not look for excuses to ignore them.

 

 

>

 

 

Yes, our fellow citizens typically wont want to be too tough on Scout leaders in ambiguous or dubious situations. But when a pattern of facts is finally clarified into provable harm to youth, they will be glad to hang councils and BSA. And allow youth to come to harm by failing to take the most effective action possible.

 

 

 

 

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Beaver, the flaw in your argument is this: if a Scouter goes outside of the GSS and YP, he may not be defended by the BSA in court.

 

Second Class, this is exactly wrong.

 

Yeh need to understand da difference between general liability insurance coverage and the internal program documents of a youth group.

 

General liability insurance coverage is governed by a master contract. That master contract is governed by da insurance laws and regulations of the several states. It has nuthin' whatsoever to do with G2SS or YPT or any other internal program document.

 

If yeh are a AAA member, they will offer yeh all kinds of program materials and guidance on how to drive safely and take care of your car. But if yeh get insurance through AAA (I think they still offer that?), that car insurance will still cover you even if yeh speed, run a red light, don't put on da snow tires AAA recommends, or leave your car unlocked even though AAA recommends always lockin' your vehicle. In fact, if da insurance didn't cover yeh for such things it would be worthless. In most cases, it would be insurance fraud subject to triple damages against da insurer in some states. Because yeh see, da whole point of insurance is to spread the risk when you do do somethin' wrong.

 

BSA insurance is the same. In most cases of injury within Scouting, yeh can find somethin' that wasn't fully kosher in terms of G2SS, especially when yeh consider da broad, sweeping guidance of stuff like da Sweet 16. Nevertheless, the BSA and its secondary insurers have an outstanding reputation of standing by its volunteers and chartered partners. It's a reputation to be proud of. It's a reputation that we use to encourage volunteers and partners to join Scouting. Bein' honest about da nature of insurance coverage and maintaining the BSA's reputation as an insurer that doesn't commit insurance fraud is important.

 

So feel free to disagree with me, I don't mind. But I'd ask yeh as someone who cares deeply about Scouting not to lie to anyone anymore about da nature and character of BSA insurance coverage, and to correct others who are spreadin' such misinformation. Yeh hurt Scouting that way.

 

SeattlePioneer, I hear where you're comin' from, but I think yeh do a similar sort of harm in the way Second Class is doin'. When we fail to exercise judgment and follow "zero tolerance" policies blindly, we subject those policies to ridicule and derision. Good people look at our actions and say "Gosh, da BSA is stupid. They don't understand the difference between a kid with an electronic Playboy and a child molester." That damages da reputation of the program and at the same time it makes da policies less effective. It ties up da time of law enforcement and other officials with trivial nonsense, so that they learn that da BSA volunteers are just loonies who cry "Wolf!" and waste their time. It consumes resources from da community and from scouting that can and should be used more effectively to serve and protect kids.

 

It does real harm, to real people, and makes kids in da end less safe.

 

We swore on our Honor to keep ourselves Mentally Awake, eh? That's because bein' mentally awake is necessary to helping other people and doin' our duty and livin' accordin' to the Scout Law. We promised each other and da world that we would always exercise judgment. Like all good citizens and good scouts, we should live up to our Oath.

 

Beavah

 

 

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if a Scouter goes outside of the GSS and YP, he may not be defended by the BSA in court.

 

Can you point to any case where BSA has not defended someone who was using any reasonable judgment? I hear this legal bogeyman all the time, and I've never had anyone describe an actual case of this. I don't believe it.

 

You're not going to get sued for not correctly dealing with a Scout with porn. You're not going to get sued if you accidentally find yourself alone in a public restroom with a Scout. You're not going to get sued because you once gave a Scout a ride home from a meeting. You're not going to get sued because you didn't set up separate male and female accommodations at your pack's overnight stay at the aquarium, even if someone does have a clothing malfunction.

 

The BSA Youth Protection Guidelines say that you are to "Notify your Scout executive of any violation of BSAs Youth Protection policies", which includes any Scout using a verbal insult. That's right - the guidelines say to report to your SE any time a Scout insults another Scout. Well, guess what? You're not going to get sued for failure to report a case of a verbal insult.

 

Geez. There's actual abuse out there. That's the stuff you're going to get sued over. If you think someone is really abusing kids, then you should do something. If you're Penn State, you're not getting sued over pornography, or guidelines, or anything else besides the fact that children were actually being abused.

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