Re: Have You Lost Your Minds (& Hearts)?
Sat, 4 Feb 1995 18:03:10 GMT
In message <email@example.com> SCOUTS-L%TCUBVM.BitNet@pucc.pr
-= no one can be in a one on one situation between male/female or adult/youth
-= In a normal tent camping situation, you often have individuals in close
-= proximity, so that even if there is more than two in the tent, violations
-= of an individuals privacy can occur if both male and female or adult and
-= youth are in the same tent. Even inadvertent contact could be a violation
-= of someones privacy. If you violate the BSA restriction in this setting,
-= you are very likely to have a problem sooner or later.
-= What it really boils down to is a difference between being morally
-= responsible and being legally liable. ... you are not being morally
-= irresponsible in your arrangements, you are
-= however legally liable if there were an abuse because you are acting
-= outside of BSA regs. ... Use your best judgement, it is your skin
-= on the line.
Preliminary note: this is not intended as a personal comment or attack
on the poster. It is also not intended as flame bate*, but I keep seeing
comments like this and can't believe my eyes: someone needs to stop and
think, for Heaven's sake! Have you people listened to yourselves lately?
How can you possibly do Scouting in an environment like this? This
strikes me as an incredibly sick atmosphere -- not least for its effects
upon the youth! Are Americans somehow so naturally immoral that they
can't even be two in the same room as each other without overriding fear
of sexual misconduct? Is this the message we are prepared to inculcate
into our youngsters' minds and hearts? Or is this all just about the BSA
trying to shirk liability off its own shoulders and onto those of its
leaders by setting up stumbling block regulations for them? Is that what
we should expect from our Scout organizations? Do people really wonder
why some groups can't seem to get or keep good leaders under such
circumstances, or why youth in some countries don't seem interested in
In the end, one can't help but ask: with all of these rules, why do you
still seem to have many times as many problems as any other organization
I've ever heard of?** And before someone says America is litigious, let
me say that we have no such rules (thank the lord!), yet I've never known
of a single case of abuse occurring in any unit I've had contact with.***
I'd even maintain (though many will strenuously object) that the chance
of a one-in-a-million event like this occurring is not a valid basis upon
which to undermine the basic structure of the entire program and the
fundamentals of meaningful human relationships.**** Come on, now!
Whatever happened to trusting, being loyal to, and helping each other?
Aren't you ashamed to advertise such rules to the rest of the world, as
though to say that your Scouts and Scout leaders aren't capable of
behaving like decent human beings? We are left to ask: what is wrong
with you Americans? Are American Scout leaders sex maniacs? Are
American Scouts law-suit maniacs? Someone please tell me why you are
different from people and Scouts everywhere else in the world!
You take some risks in life -- when we abseil down the cliffs of Dover
we know that a possibility exists (probably greater than that which you
are concerned with) that a terrible tragedy, badly scarring someone for
life (or even ending that life) may occur. OK, we do our best; we make
sure our leaders are qualified for the positions they are entrusted with,
we teach our Scouts what they need to know -- we try to stop people from
being hurt and, if they get hurt anyway, we would try to minimize the
harm and to help them and the one(s) responsible (who would also be in
need) however we can. We're Scouts, for heaven's sake!
If you're truly that risk averse, and not just hysterical on a scale
that would make Sigmund Freud throw up his hands, you should be locking
yourself up in a disinfected room like Howard Hughes, not adventuring
out into the glorious but, yes, risky real world that Scouting is
designed to cope with. And, by the way, try to tell me I can't talk
privately to a Scout who comes to me with a problem, and I'll tell you
what you can and should do with your "program"!
Come on, folks, get a grip and hold on! This is really off the deep end...
*-To show my good faith in this statement, I will attempt to make this
my only post on the issue.
**-Have you ever considered that it's likely to be primarily people with
bad motives who would be willing to continue to work under such conditions?
***-I only actually know of one case where a Scout leader may have made
an overture to a Scout. He was apparently set back so hard by this young
person that he left Scouting out of embarassment almost immediately
thereafter, never to return. So: the one Scout in the scope of my
substantial experience that your "protection" is supposedly designed for
(a) wouldn't have been helped by it (since such rules will not stop people
from finding privacy where one of them really wants it for bad reasons
or where there is a need to bend the rules for good reasons -- it is then
seen for what it is: not a protection for the members but a protection
for the institution against its own members) and (b) clearly had no need
of it! Do you seriously have so little faith in your own youth?
****-Surely this IS abuse, in itself! What is that old expression about
cutting off your nose to save your face?
Ken Schneider (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City