Further reply to Izard
Thu, 4 Apr 1991 13:56:28 CST
I am both a current volunteer and (I'm almost embarassed to say) former
professional scouter. I have seen a number of these situations, as well
as experienced the same in my troop as a boy. There is, of course must be,
a reason for this behavior. While I would certainly not suggest that you
risk the quality of the program for the other boys--seek its source for the
well-being of the scout in question. Is there, per chance, any evidence of
abuse at home? Such occasions almost always result in the child acting out
and behavior problems in general. Scouts may be this child's only contact
with friendly adults (outside of the structured school environment) and there-
fore his only chance to call for help. This may be completely inapplicable
to your situation, but its good for all of us to be on the look out. I do
sympathize with your predicament but worry for the child all the same.
What makes this truly awful is that calling in the parents may only
frighten the scout, or worse, serve as the catalyst for still more abuse!!
Everyone should be aware that most (I am almost certain that it is now all)
states have good-faith reporting protection (that is, you cannot be sued
for reporting child abuse, even if it is not true, as long as you demonstrate
good faith--believe it to be so). Always have a second leader in on your
decision-making, for support and corroboration. Check with your Scout Exec.
to assure the state laws support you (though I am still sure they do).
Best o' luck with your problem child.
Gary M. Segura
Dept. of Political Science
University of Illinois
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City