Re: hazing problems
Jim McMaster (mcmaster@SWENG.STORTEK.COM)
Thu, 11 Sep 1997 09:25:23 -0600
In message <19970911144840Z541796-26284+1163@outbound.Princeton.EDU>,
> Our troop has been having some hazing problems. At the elections this week,
> the candidates were asked their thoughts on hazing and they (the
> candidates-older boys) thought it was okay <ARGH>. They were even asked to
> put themselves in the shoes of the younger boys and the response was that
> it was impossible because they are "older" boys.
When I took over as scoutmaster of our re-activating troop, I laid down only
two non-negotiable rules: 1) The minimum uniform is the scout shirt with
proper insignia, clean, buttoned and tucked in and (2) No hazing of any kind.
Other than that, the scouts made up all the other rules.
My scouts know I will not tolerate any hazing or initiations...period. If I
find out about it, the perpetrators will be out of the troop. I explained
the potential for lawsuits against their parents and me, the harm that
happens, and how it violates the scout law. I tell all new scouts they are
not to be hazed or initiated, and to tell me if anyone tries it. I have had
no reports with 13 new scouts in the past 18 months.
I was lucky...only 3 scouts were around when such things were tolerated, and
the rest of the troop has never experienced the "legacy" to pass along. Your
situation is harder, but I think the only way to eliminate it is to take a
hard line. If it means losing some scouts, that is too bad. The ultimate
good in preventing harm to future young scouts outweighs the harm done to the
few who leave or get kicked out.
Sorry if I seem hard-nosed, but I fell really strongly about this. Hazing is
not just "harmless fun" or "boys being boys". It is always harmful, and can
approach torture when it gets out of hand. This is not what we should show
young scouts they should expect in scouting.
All my opinions. You are free to disagree, but I am not changing my mind.
Scoutmaster, Troop 70
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City