Re: Radcliffe bad press
Jonathan Dixon (dixonj@ROCOCO.COLORADO.EDU)
Thu, 1 May 1997 15:48:52 -0600
Scott Morley wrote:
> Who out there got that speeding ticket? You broke the law - resign!
> Who out there forgot to pay that parking ticket? You broke the law
> Who out there didn't stop for that person in the crosswalk(I don't
> care if you didn't see them or not). You broke the law! (in MA) -
> Who out there ever accelerated to get through that yellow traffic
> light? You could of stopped. You broke the law-resign!
Two counter-points to this -- none of these things you mention are
felonies (AFAIK) and none of us are the head of the BSA. If I was
guilty of a felony, I am sure that my sponsoring organization would be
hesitant to keep me on as SM (and as someone else pointed out it is
highly likely that the BSA would ask me to leave the program).
Different levels of violations of the law require different
punishments. A scout who brought a loaded handgun on a camping trip
would (probably) be sent home immediately and perhaps asked to leave the
troop, whereas a boy who was just being unfriendly or unhelpful would
not merit such a severe reaction. It is not that we condone these
latter acts, but just that they are a smaller offense and therefore
merit a smaller reaction.
Also, as the head of the BSA (or of any other large organization), there
is (and should be) an even higher standard they are held to. Their
actions are presumed to speak for the whole organization. Along
different lines, a factory employee who was caught making racist
statements would probably be reprimanded and perhaps given sensitivity
training, but if the company president makes those same statements he
will be asked to leave. That is the two edged nature of responsibility.
I'm not sure whether the CSE's actions are bad enough that he should be
forced to resign. I would prefer that instead of "I forgot" (which
sounds like the cop-out I get upset at my scouts for using) that he had
simply said "I was wrong. I apologize for my behavior and I accept full
responsibility for the consequences of my action." This avoids the trap
of making excuses for what is really inexcusable behavior.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City