Re: do we expel him?
Richard Russell (lderlore@XMISSION.COM)
Fri, 18 Nov 1994 10:50:42 -0700
On Fri, 18 Nov 1994, John Monahan wrote:
> I need some help on a serious behavior issue.
> Here is the problem, this Scout can and has shown true leadership in the
> troop and has been generally a good member of the troop. Our problem
> is he has been exhibiting more frequent and more outragous behavior
> since summer. He has had a history of outbursts and general disruptive
> behavior but for nearly a year has been on "the fast track" having
> completed the requirements for 3 rank advancements during this time. The
> recent incidents have included fireworks, VERY rough behavior with
> younger members, and the most glaring - He shot someone with a paintball
> gun after our most recent meeting and caused a welt about 2 to 2 1\2"
> across and 1\4" high with discoloration and bruising to about 6" on his
> abdominal (beltline) area.
> The dilemma we face is: should we continue to bend the rules for this
> boy and hope that his actions do not become increasingly more violent
> and disruptive or do we mandate that his parents come with him to all
> troop functions or (as the parents of the boy shot have indicated) get
> rid of him or else. The boy who was shot has also been roughed up by
> this boy on more than one occasion, always apologetic afterwards but ??
> It has been suggested and generally approved that the BoR should either
> be postponed until he exhibits the true Scouting spirit or held and not
> allow the advancement to LIFE until he has exhibited Scout spirit. I am
> trying to get some assistance on this before Monday 11/21 when a special
> committee meeting has been scheduled to hear this issue with Disctrict
> and sponsoring agency attendants since both have heard from the parents
> of the injured boy.
A decidely sticky wicket, John. My first reaction is to have the unit
leader hold another Scoutmaster's Conference with the boy and review the
advancement requirement concerning "Scout Spirit" and what that means.
Then ask the boy if he thinks he has been doing that and ask for specific
examples. In the true leadership skill of Counselling, give the boy some
feedback on the dilemma and what his behavior is doing to adults,
parents, other boys, not the least of which is the paint pellet victim.
If he fails to see any problem, as hard as it may be, I, as the
Scoutmaster, would say that I could not pass off the Scout Spirit
requirement and cannot yet recommend him for BoR until ALL requirements
have been passed. I would give a time period within which he is to work
and a deadline to meet for getting his act together. The specifics of
this would depend on the boy's age, his maturity, your knowledge of his
ability to gain control of his life, etc.
There is a second, and IMO, more important aspect. On the one hand you
have the integrity of the Scouting Movement and its principles and values
at stake along with the morale of the unit along with the cooperation of
all members. However, on the other hand, and this is my point --
you have a troubled young man who needs personal help to still the demons
that are driving him to this anti-social behavior. He needs some serious
counseling from someone who can help him see himself as he is being seen
and to uncover what is provoking his actions.
Too often, I think, we are
quick to find fault and levy blame in a punitive vein. This takes the
form of attacking the character of the problem child and enforcing
sanctions against him. He is likely to see these for what they are:
punishments, not consequences for his actions. If he regards them as
punishments he will only be resentful not penitent. There is the welfare
of a Boy Scout at stake and his rehabilitation is more important than
keeping peace in the unit. Leaving the ninety and nine in search of the
one saves both the one and gives enormous security to the ninety and nine
when they think that they might be the one some day.
Good luck -- better you than me!
Richard C. Russell
Ask me about "Leader Lore" -- a 12 page newsletter.
"I used to be a bear." My wife tells me I still am!
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City