Re: do we expel him?
Richard Russell (lderlore@XMISSION.COM)
Fri, 18 Nov 1994 13:31:51 -0700
On Fri, 18 Nov 1994, Ian Ford wrote:
> The question - do we expell him ?
> The answer - yes - almost certainly.
> Fireworks and paintballs guns are PROHIBITED by BSA - period. I know you
> guys in US take a different attitude to firearms than us Brits , but if a
> kid used a paintball gun with the intention of causing injury ( i.e. not
> as part of a paintball game with mutual consent, safety gear etc.) I
> would have turned him over to the police on an " assault with an
> offensive weapon " charge. No ifs buts or maybes. Then pick up the bits
> Bullying is unacceptable behaviour in any troop. It sounds to me as
> though you would be well rid of this young man.
> Forget his advancement. Forget Boards of Review. Fire him now.
> I can accept a fair degree of disruptive behaviour , but what you describe
> is illegal and poses a threat to safety of other kids. Assuming this kid
> is normally intelligent he will know that what he is doing is wrong.
> We are youth leaders not probation officers or psychiatrists. We do not
> have to accept violent kids in the program.
> Ian N Ford
Ian, I am powerfully persuaded by your arguments. There is too much at
stake to lightly gloss over this problem or hope that it will correct
itself or go away in time.
Your post has made me think of two more ideas beyond what I have already
mentioned on this thread.
The first is a purely practical thing which I believe Baden-Powell would
have applauded. If the unit is BOY RUN (it is not really Scouting if it
is not boy run, is it?), then turn this problem over to the Patrol
Leader's Council for consideration of solutions which will be presented
to the committee for approval and/or action. The boys themselves might,
as a group, have more clout and be more effective than all the adults.
They might tend to be too harsh -- thus the need for committee or
unit leadership approval.
The second is more of a story related by a Scoutmaster from Arizona who
came to Utah for Wood Badge. He told me the following: In 1978 he was
asked to take over a ho-hum Scout troop that had 12 members and no one
above 2nd Class. After 18-24 months of some hard work, reorganizing and
recruiting, there were 48 members and 12 Eagle Scouts. One of those
Eagles was something like the problem boy of this thread. He was
disruptive and a pain in the (insert your favorite body part). He was a
good Scout when it came to the skills and the leadership but his
friendly-courteous-kind abilities were sorely lacking. He would come home
every week swearing to kick him out for the good of the troop and his
wife would encourage him to be patient one more week.
The Wood Badge Course was in 1984, six years after this experience and
the SM finished by saying that in those intervening 6 years the young man
eventually served a two-year mission for his church and had returned
earlier that year. Just a week before he traveled north for WB, he was
driving home from work past this boy's house when the kid rushed out and
flagged him down. He said he had someone there he wanted to introduce to
him. He brought out a lovely young lady whom he introduced as his fiance
and then he turned to the girl and said, "And this is L____ O____ the one
I have been telling you about, my Scoutmaster and my very best friend."
Then the SM became quite sombre and said as seriously as I have ever
heard anyone be, "We can n e v e r give up on any boy!"
I guess if the most important thing is the rules, then expelling is the
only right thing to do. On the other hand, we are trying to build
character and, according to B-P "bring about the Kingdom of God on
earth." One of the points of New Testament religion is that it is no
virtue to love the easy ones, it is a virtue when we love the unloveable
and work with those who deserve it least.
Richard C. Russell
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