Re: Youth Protection Policy
Michael F. Bowman (mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG)
Sat, 23 Sep 1995 23:33:55 -0400
The disclosure made by a prospective-Scouter of being accused of, but not
convicted of child abuse certainly is a difficult situation. So far you
have his side of the story, which may or may not be an accurate recasting
of the facts. Your chartering organization is responsible for the first
level review of his character and based on this information needs to ask
more questions and dig a little deeper before approving him.
You stated there had been "no conviction" which implies that he was
charged and prosecuted. Is this true? If it is, the fact that there was
no conviction doesn't mean anything more than that the jury didn't think
the prosecution presented a case that proved beyond reasonable doubt that
a crime was committed. This could also mean that the preponderance of
the evidence was that he had committed a battery on the child. If he
wasn't charged or prosecuted, it might be easier to see this as situation
that is all to typical of marital dissolutions where the fighting spouses
try to damage each other in vicious attacks.
Unfortunately without a closer look into his past, the information you
have is pretty lean for making a decision.
This is a situation where the Chartered Organization Representative or
the Institutional Head needs to have a discussion with the Scout
Executive to decide how best to proceed and what questions need to be
What evidence existed at the time to suggest abuse?
What triggered the alleged abuse?
Was there a problem that has been treated by counseling?
Was there an untreated problem - substance abuse, alcohol, etc.?
Has the individual had other reported but not prosecuted instances of the
Has the individual demonstrated over the last eight years good character?
It may well be that after looking at some of these questions, the feeling
will be that what did or did not happen eight years ago is not likely to
be repeated and that their is no risk. This result is probably
unlikely, however. If there is any question or doubt, the Scout
Executive and the chartering organization are going to act to protect the
interests of the Scouts and not accept the registration. This sounds
pretty tough, but they have to be concerned with the welfare of the boys
and that balances a lot heavier in most places than an adult's right to
Speaking only for myself in the Scouting Spirit, Michael F. Bowman
DDC-Training, GW Dist. Nat Capital Area Council mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City