Problem to Chew on.
Bruce Rosen (rosen@SPECKLE.NCSL.NIST.GOV)
Tue, 24 Oct 1995 09:43:17 -0400
Dear Fellow Scouters,
Here is an interesting problem that I think we might want to discuss a bit
since this type of situation is real and things like this do happen. While
we usually stick more to direct "Scout type" problems, the rest of the world
is out there and the problems that go with it do spill over into Scouting.
Scoutmaster is contacted by parent with son in the Troop and is informed
that they believe that another boy in the Troop (families are friends) has
sexually molested their younger daughter. (Remember, this incident
occurred outside of scouting.) They indicate that they are initiating an
investigation by the police even though the incident occurred several months
earlier. Several weeks later the Scoutmaster is informed that a decision
had been reached not to further pursue legal charges against the youth in
question, and that he is now in counseling. The youth is an older boy in
the Troop and has had other types of behavior problems over the years and
has been in counseling for other problems. The identities of the families
involved make it clear that this is not a question of a sex related charge
being brought as a way to "get back" at someone for some reason. The family
of the youth in question has not initiated any contact concerning this issue
even though the father is an active Assistant Scoutmaster. Father is a nice
guy but has a past history of not bringing any concerns he has with Troop
operation to the Scoutmaster, but rather writes letters to the Troop Committee.
Now remember, this problem happened outside of Scouting, and the youth
protection guidelines seem to cover incidents of abuse between adults and
boys, and between boys and boys.
Should the Scoutmaster bring this issue to the Committee?
Should the family of the youth in question be contacted, if so by who?
Should the Troop Committee take any action? If so, what actions should be
taken? (After all, don't the parents of the other boys in the Troop have a
right to be concerned about the influence that this boy could have on their
child if the charges are true?)
If no action is taken and a later incident occurs within a Boy Scout context
would the new family involved not believe that due to prior knowledge the
Scoutmaster and/or Troop Committee were guilty of negligence?
This one is tough, what are your thoughts!!!
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City