Re: Radcliffe bad press
Robert Gerhard (RAGerhard@AOL.COM)
Thu, 8 May 1997 09:27:24 -0400
In a message dated 97-05-03 06:56:46 EDT, you write:
> Suppose this boy brought the loaded gun because he was borrowing his
> dad's backpack which had the gun unknowingly inside? The level of
> violation is the same. The intent is not. As far as we know, this is
> quite similar to what happened to Mr. Radcliffe.
First off, who would take a backpack on a camping trip without having emptied
it first and then filled it with what they needed? Bad analogy. Secondly,
JR acknowledged "forgetting" it was in there. You can't forget something
without prior knowledge. He knew it was inside, it was his own luggage.
Different circumstances completely.
>> Also, as the head of the BSA (or of any other large organization),
>> 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
>In this respect, I would have to disagree. I feel that the closer we
>are to the boys, the more responsible we are. As a scoutmaster, I feel
>I'm more of an example than the CSE is.
But is that any reason for the CSE to be less responsible? Everyone in our
organization is an example to someone. Further, as the CSE, he is our
example to the general public, to business and government. To them, he
should embody everything the rest of us are and do. As such, he should be
>> I'm not sure whether the CSE's actions are bad enough that he should
>> 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
>> simply said "I was wrong. I apologize for my behavior and I accept
>> responsibility for the consequences of my action." This avoids the
>> of making excuses for what is really inexcusable behavior.
>I know it sounds like a cop-out, but what if it's true? If he did
>indeed forget the gun in his baggage, then admitting wrong-doing would
>be a lie. Admitting that he is imperfect, absent-minded, is no reason
>to lose his job. When your scouts use this excuse, do you give them the
>benefit of the doubt? We owe Mr. Radcliffe at least that much. Not
>because he's our CSE, but because he's a human being.
How would it be a lie? Forgetting something does not absolve you of
wrongdoing or facing any resulting consequences (realizing that not every
episode of forgetfulness results in wrongdoing). If one of my Scouts forgets
something, he pays the consequences. We are teaching responsibility to these
young men, and part of that responsibility means remembering important items
and paying consequences for your actions or inactions. If a Scout forgot to
bring his sleeping bag on a campout, I expect he'll sleep fairly
uncomfortably (as I did once). He's paying the consequences. Recently one
of my Cubs forgot to work on a particular requirement at home. The
consequence was that he was the only one at the meeting who did not earn the
World Conservation Award.
Should JR lose his job over this? That's a judgement call I don't have the
authority or information to make. Is this just one in a string of incidents
that illustrate poor judgement, or an isolated instance? I don't know, but
that's worth considering. Why was the gun there in the first place? Again,
I don't know but it's worth considering.
The better question is should JR give up his job over this. All I know is
that if I were in his shoes, I'd be sprucing up my resume. But then, I would
not have been carrying the gun in the first place.
Bear DL and Cubmaster Heir Apparent (Here we go again!)
Pack 83 - Ft. Worth, TX
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City