Steve Tobin (srtobin@MMM.COM)
Fri, 1 Apr 1994 11:04:10 -0600
> A young ASM is a braggart and a bit of a bully with an attitude that the
> rules are an excuse to run power trips on people, but shows zero respect
> for the rules when it comes to his own behavior. He is trying to gain
> popularity with the popular kids by bullying the unpopular kids and has
> been the reason why several of them quit the program.
Obviously this person should not be an ASM with his attitude. I would
absolutely not allow this type of thing to happen in a troop. The SM and
troop committee is neglegent in allowing it to continue, whether addressed
through counseling and training, or through dismissal.
Having said that, and recognizing that, for whatever reason, it is being
allowed to continue, the ASM is definately abusive, and has lost any claim
on the boy's respect. He is also not returning the respect that the boys
deserve. As someone pointed out in another posting, the adults owe the
scouts respect as individuals in return, and this is obviously not the
case. I think the younger boys are handling it in a remarkably mature
and efective manner; an application of passive resistance. It should help
bring the problem to a resolution, but in the meantime it robs the ASM
of his power to abuse them. It is really good that they didn't resort
to retaliation or trying to 'get even' for the treatment they have
It is similar to the problem that parents have in teaching our
children to respect people in authority over them, such as teachers,
but on the other hand to be aware of the limits (and obligations!) of
such authority. They have to be taught to also be aware that the
authority NEVER extends to allowing abuse, whether sexual or otherwise.
It is a tight line to walk.
I think that situational respect implies a two-way contract; on one
hand to give the diference due the person in authority; on the other
side to give proper respect in return, and the obligation to give the
leadership or function the position promises. If one side breaks his part
lf the contract, then the situation becomes very difficult. We have
seen the results of this in our institutions and leaders during the last
30 years. The "do as I say, not as I do" approach is not valid or effective,
So, my for-what-it's-worth for today. It's a good thing I'm not long-winded.
Steve Tobin, SM
Eagle Class of '65
Troop 39, Cannon Falls, MN; Cannon River District
Gamehaven Council (Southeastern Minnesota)
Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org Member: * Minnesotans for Global Warming
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